Deshaun Watson Trade Rumors: Evaluating Buzz After Texans Sign Tyrod Taylor

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) plays against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The NFL world has been waiting to see what the Houston Texans will do with quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The 25-year-old three-time Pro Bowler has requested a trade and informed the Texans that he doesn't plan to play for the franchise.

"Quarterback Deshaun Watson met with new Houston Texans coach David Culley last Friday, according to sources, and informed Culley that he has no intention of suiting up for the team again," ESPN's Dan Graziano wrote on February 25.

Naturally, Watson would generate plenty of interest if placed on the trade market. He's one of the league's best young signal-callers and a legitimate franchise quarterback. However, the Texans have refused to place him on the market or even listen to offers from other teams.

IG: JosinaAnderson @JosinaAnderson

I'm told the #Texans still haven't had any discussions internally or externally entertaining any deal to trade QB Deshaun Watson, despite HC David Culley's 'right now' comment about Watson's status, which Culley worked to clarify later today, per source. Will continue monitoring.

However, it's fair to wonder if Houston is beginning to change its stance on the situation. During an appearance on the NFL: Huddle & Flow podcast on March 11 (h/t Kevin Patra of NFL.com), new head coach David Culley said there's no guarantee of Watson being the Week 1 starter.

"He is our starting quarterback as of right now," he said. "He is our starting quarterback. Things happen between now and then. We'll see what happens."

Other teams around the league seem to believe Houston will give in to Watson's demands eventually. Next month's draft could be a tipping point, as the opportunity to select a new franchise quarterback could present itself.

If, for example, the New York Jets were to offer the No. 2 pick as part of a trade package, Houston could walk away with one of the top two quarterbacks in a stacked draft class.

"They sense that Houston has no reason to jump at this point," ESPN's Jeff Darlington told The Rich Eisen Show. "There's a belief that Watson will eventually be available, that he will wind up playing for another team."

Could the Texans be preparing to make a move? Their recent signing of quarterback Tyrod Taylor at least leaves the door open for that possibility. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Texans and Taylor have agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $12.5 million.

If the Texans were to move Watson now, they would have a quarterback with 47 career starts to hold down the position for at least the short term.

Of course, signing Taylor isn't necessarily a precursor to trading Watson. It could also be a matter of Houston preparing for Watson to hold out. If the franchise is willing to take a hard-line stance against trading the Gainesville, Georgia native, it must be prepared to let him sit out the 2021 season.

Adding Taylor provides the Texans with insurance in the event Watson won't suit up. It doesn't guarantee they are preparing to trade Watson. It doesn't mean they won't consider the move, either—and it's highly unlikely we get clarity on the situation until we get closer to the draft, which starts on April 29.