Deshaun Watson Trade Rumors: Texans 'Very Firm' QB Isn't Available

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson has requested a trade from the Houston Texans, a person familiar with the move told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, because they weren’t authorized to discuss the request publicly. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

New Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio has reportedly made it clear to interested teams that Deshaun Watson is not available despite the quarterback's trade request.

Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Sunday the Texans are "very firm" in their stance of keeping Watson, and some front-office sources said their inquiries about the three-time Pro Bowl selection didn't even receive a response.

"The goal is to get him back, period," a source told the NFL Network.

ESPN's Adam Schefter also reported Sunday the Texans' "position will not change" as they have zero interest in trading Watson.

The hiring of Caserio is what led the quarterback's frustration with the franchise to reach a boiling point.

In January, Schefter reported Watson was disappointed the candidates he mentioned for the vacant GM position were "neither considered nor consulted" before the hire was announced, which he found out on social media and not from the team itself.

Houston owner Cal McNair also ignored the recommendations of a search firm, which was paid "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to research candidates, per Schefter.

The situation raised further concerns about the growing power held by executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby, a former team chaplain who worked with Caserio during their time with the New England Patriots.

Easterby was the focus of an investigation by Jenny Vrentas and Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated in December entitled, "Jack Easterby's Rise to Power and the Chaos That Followed," which explored the polarizing nature of the executive and McNair's growing reliance on his opinion.

Two of the best players in Texans franchise history, wide receivers Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, also pointed the finger for the organization's issues toward Easterby:

Deandre Hopkins @DeAndreHopkins

When Dre speak listen. https://t.co/hMdP2rsUJr

Now Houston and one of the NFL's best quarterbacks appear headed toward an extended stare down.

Watson is under contract through 2025 as part of a four-year, $156 million deal, which means his only recourse for trying to force a trade would be sitting out regular-season games.

Meanwhile, Caserio said in late January the team was going to "reiterate our commitment" to the 25-year-old Clemson product.

"And, you know, we have zero interest in trading the player," he told reporters. "We have a great plan, a great vision for him and for this team and his role on our team. We look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring."

Whether Watson will be open to reconciliation as the 2021 season moves closer is uncertain.