Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Jan. 28 that Watson had requested a trade weeks earlier, and the hiring of Culley hadn't changed his mind.
Of course, this puts Culley in an unenviable position.
"He is a Houston Texan," Culley told reporters of Watson in January. "And I wanted to be a Houston Texan. And the reason I'm in this position today is because I knew he's going to be a Houston Texan. The outside stuff that was being said is irrelevant to me."
At this point, it seems unlikely there's anything the 65-year-old can say to win Watson over because the issues go way beyond him.
Schefter reported the three-time Pro Bowler was upset because the franchise promised him the opportunity to provide some input as it searched for a new general manager, "but the Texans neither considered nor consulted with those endorsed by their franchise quarterback, league sources told ESPN."
The blame for the current state of the Texans has fallen largely on Jack Easterby, the executive vice president of football operations, since his ascendancy has coincided with their decline.
According to Schefter, one player is of the belief the franchise is "weeding out employees who were not hired by [Easterby] and new general manager Nick Caserio, replacing them with employees who will be indebted to them for their work."
However, jettisoning Easterby may not accomplish much in terms of Watson because ESPN's Chris Mortensen spoke to a source who said team chairman Cal McNair firing himself might be the only meaningful gesture the Texans could make.