The major news of the day is rumors that Deshaun Watson tells his teammates that he wants out of Houston. This doesn't surprise anyone as Bill O'Brian, before getting himself fired, traded away elite receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and their first and second round picks for the 2021 season. J.J Watt was also recorded talking to Watson after a week 17 loss to Tennessee saying, "I'm sorry we wasted one of your years."
There were also rumblings about Watt wanting to get out of Houston earlier in the season due to the mismanagement of the team. Although this conversation happened to fizzle after a couple weeks, it would not be a shocking revelation to see Watt ask for a trade. Either way, it looks like Houston could very possibly be without many of this years stars next year. The only question is, could the Texans possibly give away Watson?
If you're not interested in salary discussions or the terrifying story that is the Texans organization, I'll give you my quick answer. No, for many reasons, Watson very well may have to endure another season (if not more) with the Texans. Here's are our 3 quick answers as to why Watson is stuck.
1) The team spent too much on Watson's 4-year contract to give him up after one season
In September, the Texans decided Watson was worth $156 millions dollars to stay in Houston for the next 4 years. This sounded like a no brainer to anyone who heard it. This is a $39 million a year contract to have one of the best escape artists in the league play behind center. Could the Texans really give that up? This is the Texans, so yes, they could! Too bad for management who wants a total rebuild, Watson has only earned $39 million, and was guaranteed $111 million. If the Texans were to give Watson away, they would not only get rid of their star Quarterback, they would most likely be fishing out money over the next couple years to Watson, and still have no Quarterback. Even a dysfunctional organization like the Texans couldn't do this.
2) The lack of culture limits their replacement QB search
New England signed former MVP Cam Newton to a one-year $1.75 million deal with $555,000 guaranteed. That's an amazing price to pay for a Quarterback to start 16 games. Although, the Patriots have developed a culture that makes free agents flock to Foxborough, the Texans do not. No Quarterback would want to help rebuild Houston unless they got paid what they believe they're worth, or more. Saying this, there are a few free agent Quarterbacks that could start for Houston if Watson leaves. Dak Prescott, Mitchell Trubisky, and Andy Dalton all have contracts that end after this year.
One more consideration to put into this, the Texans have one of the lowest salary caps in the league, with their cap space of just over $6 million (this is without including necessary players being cut or re-signed). This leaves lower-end QB's or general backup QB's to fill this starting position. Out of the remaining free agents, the best Quarterbacks for the Texans on their budget would be:
1) Jameis Winston (if they could get him away from New Orleans)
2) Blake Bortles
3) Josh Rosen
Jameis Winston is the only person who has led a team while getting semi-significant results. There is no way the Texans could go from Watson to any of these three, especially since getting Winston would require playmakers or draft capital to trade, both of which Houston doesn't have.
3) Watson is the teams ultimate playmaker
I know what I said could bring some criticism. J.J Watt could very well be considered the playmaker of this team, but let's get down to stats. THIS YEAR, J.J Watt's stats look very similar to his last years stats, in terms of special plays (Sacks, Interceptions, Forced Fumbles), last year he started 8 games, this year he started all 16. He is back to being a great Edge Rusher, not elite. Lets look at the stats of Deshaun Watson.
Watson had a career high in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and yards per attempt. What does he have a career low in? Interceptions. Deshaun's rushing stats are also consistent! I get it, Watson is younger, and that's exactly what makes him a better playmaker, he still has a lot of miles on his legs, J.J Watt is coming to the latter end of his career. This is just one more reason why Houston could NOT give up their star Quarterback.
J.J Watt is a very respectable human, and a very respectable player. The comment he made to Deshaun Watson was justified. It does feel like the Houston organization wasted a year of Watson's career, but here's the hard truth, Watson will be a Texan next year. It is hard to look at a great Quarterback in a bad organization, but there are two bright spots in this situation:
1) Bill O'Brien is gone, the Texans can begin their rebuild.
2) Watson had his career year in the midst of destruction around him, this only brings up his stock. If the Texans are still bad next year, Watson will be able to get out when the Texans don't have to pay him too much to get out.