The Houston Texans are reportedly more open to trading quarterback Deshaun Watson after having stood firm over keeping the player around despite his wishes to leave.
The team has gotten off to a very poor start to the season and is 1-2 after games against the Jaguars, Browns, and Panthers. They’re second in the AFC South simply because the Colts and Jaguars have been terrible so far, with neither team managing to put a win together just yet.
It wasn’t expected that Houston was going to be much better than they are this season and the NFL futures for the Texans point to just that. The biggest question, though, is what they can expect from a Watson trade. If they play their cards right, the Texans could be pretty good in the next two seasons. If they get this wrong, their long-term future could be very bleak.
According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Houston received an offer of three first-round picks and three third-round picks in exchange for Watson prior to this year’s NFL Draft and turned it down.
Watson hasn’t played a game this season despite being a presence in the organization. Given the outlook for the Texans at the moment, it appears they’re now willing to entertain offers, with Glazer claiming their stance has “softened.”
“Deshaun Watson’s made it clear. He does not want to play for the Houston Texans. But it’s interesting because when we went into the season, the Texans were not really fielding phone calls. They weren’t open to trade talks unless somebody was going to give them a ridiculous trade offer. More than six draft picks. They’ve already been offered three ones and three threes. Wanted more than that. However I was told that this past week, their stance started to soften a little bit with that,” Glazer reported this week.
“The interesting part, you looked at Miami with Tua (Tagovailoa) going down, that would be an obvious trade partner. However, remember this: if they end up trading Deshaun Watson right now, he’s eligible to play. He’s eligible to play next week. He’s not on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, he’s not on any suspension list, so he can play immediately. It’s interesting to see if the Texans can actually soften their stance even more, and possibly send him out of town.”
No one would be blamed for believing it would be hard for the Texans to field an offer similar to the one mentioned above, but the reality is they might.
“Lately, they’ve let it be known he could be traded for three ones, plus a combination of three picks or players,” the journalist noted. “They already had that. They had three 1′s and three 3′s going into the NFL Draft. They had four teams who were really interested back then. They said absolutely not, we’re not trading him, weren’t taking any of the offers. … And those four teams, most of them have all dropped out, by the way.”
While it might appear that they’ve made the decision to trade too late, there’s no deadline for the Texans and they’re under no obligation to move Watson, nor are they being forced to. The player is under contract for four more years and that leaves the ball well in their court, especially as a suspension, though looming, isn’t a sure thing just yet. They’re certainly under no pressure to do suitors any favors and would do well to take their time and make sure the draft picks they’re getting make sense.
It’s unlikely Watson will be traded before the end of the current season and it would be in the team’s best interest to wait till the offseason as they will have a much better view of what the future could look like on the back of a trade.
Meanwhile, the Texans are planning to hand rookie QB Davis Mills his second career start, with coach David Culley indicating the youngster will have more on his plate against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4.
“He’s going to have a lot more put on him than we put on him last week,” Culley said Monday, per the Houston Chronicle. “I feel like he’ll be able to handle it. We’re just going to run our offense and let him handle it from there.”
Mills passed for 168 yards in the loss to the Panthers in Week 3 and did not turn the ball over at all.
“I don’t think we went in thinking we just want to protect him,” Culley pointed out. “There are certain things that they were going to do regardless of what we called, they were going to do it. We just felt like that we wanted to make sure we gave him stuff that he knew. That there was never any doubt about what he needed to do on these particular plays.”