Deshaun Watson signed a four-year contract extension with the Texans in September, which figures to keep the quarterback in Houston through the 2025 season.
But perhaps we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a trade?
ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio added fuel to the fire Thursday, noting Watson has at least raised the idea with teammates as Houston searches for its next head coach.
Here’s more from Florio:
The Texans have suggested that they’ll listen to quarterback Deshaun Watson when hiring a coach. But what if they ultimately don’t hire the person he’d like to be coached by?
Rumors already are circulating, and we’ve already heard them from multiple different people, that Watson has quietly broached with teammates the possibility of requesting a trade. If that’s happening, it may just be a strategic effort to ensure his views are respected by ownership. Regardless, it raises the stakes and crosses a bridge and potentially sets the foundation for Watson eventually to decide that he’d like to continue his career elsewhere.
It would be stunning if the Texans traded Watson, one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks despite the team’s shortcomings elsewhere. He’s just 25 years old, coming off a terrific season, and is exactly the type of franchise cornerstone who can bring a team to the next level with the right pieces around him.
Of course, this means Watson would have significant trade value — more than enough to offset the $21.6 million cap charge that would come with trading him, as Florio notes — and an offseason blockbuster theoretically could jumpstart Houston’s rebuild, a process complicated by the Texans not having a first- or second-round pick in 2021 after going 4-12 in 2020.
But would new general manager Nick Caserio, recently hired away from the New England Patriots, really think about trading Houston’s superstar QB in his first offseason on the job? Wouldn’t he just be better off working with Watson as the Texans pursue their next head coach and ways to improve the roster moving forward?
Nevertheless, Watson, who posted a cryptic tweet after news of Caserio’s hiring broke, would send shockwaves across the NFL if he indeed requested a trade. And maybe, if we’re to believe Florio, the possibility isn’t that farfetched.