Brian Flores now is one of the cycle’s hottest coaching candidates and the Houston Texans could be in the market for a new coach with the status of first-year coach David Culley seemingly not set in stone.
Culley, it’s important to note, has not been relieved of his duties. But if the Texans opt to go that route with a decision reportedly set to come by the end of the week, it’s fair to think Flores jumps to the top of the list given his familiarity with general manger Nick Caserio, who he worked with as a member of the New England Patriots.
It’s caused some to think about the next biggest domino to fall in Houston, which, rather obviously, is the future of quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson agreed to waive his no-trade clause for the Dolphins in hopes that he would land in Miami. Flores, according to many reports, was a key reason Watson wanted to head to South Beach. Watson landing with the Dolphins certainly took a hit with the firing of Flores.
Well, the moving parts now have speculated that if the Texans were to fire Culley and hire Flores then maybe Watson would sign off on staying in Houston. Watson, 26, is under contract with the organization through the 2025 season, after all.
The Athletic’s Jeff Howe put that speculation in perspective, though. The NFL reporter doesn’t believe it to be likely.
“Watson’s issues have been with ownership, not the coach,” Howe tweeted Tuesday. “While the Texans would be thrilled for Watson to reconsider and remain in Houston, they don’t anticipate a coaching change will be enough to change his stance.”
Of course, speculation has ventured beyond just Houston. Others are thinking a partnership of Watson and Flores could land elsewhere.
Perhaps Flores is hired by another team with an uncertain quarterback situation and that situation is solved by the trade of Watson? The Denver Broncos fit that list as a team with a coaching vacancy and quarterback uncertainty, as do the New York Giants. Maybe the possibility of landing both Flores and Watson in Carolina prompts the Panthers to cut the cord with Matt Rhule? Rhule, like Culley, has not been fired.
It will be interesting to see where Flores lands in the coming weeks. If he does join a QB-needy team, we know where speculation will go from there.