Whispers of what will happen with Deshaun Watson left a lingering impression on the rumor mill.
A few things are clear: Watson doesn’t want to play for the Texans, and the Texans don’t want him to play either, for fear of any injury Watson receives ruining the team’s chances of getting multiple first-round picks.
But what will happen if Watson tells Houston, “I’m ready to play”?
It’s essential to note that Watson’s situation, as it stands right now, contains things much more severe than what jersey he’ll be wearing next time he plays. The quarterback has twenty-two lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct pending, and ten women have filed criminal complaints against him.
As of now, the Texans’ talking points concerning Watson involve a focus on a daily approach. Nick Caserio says that they will take it one day at a time with regard to Watson.
Caserio is in his first year as general manager; so what he does will be the precedent of his career in a job he toiled for two decades to gain. If he takes less than what Watson is worth and the quarterback is acquitted legally in several months, then he’s traded away a young, stellar franchise quarterback with five years left on his contract at a cut rate.
Considering what a catch Watson would have been before the allegations and lawsuit, that cost is small compared to what a trade would bring for a player like Watson.
Watson could force a trade
Could the day-to-day play be a tool to keep Watson on board by making him think that it’s coming?
But week one is coming closer, and Watson, a football player, wants to play football.
That’s not to say Watson has a deep-seated need to play in Houston, but he might tell the Texans he’s ready to play to force their hand. With Tyrod Taylor, Jeff Driskel and Davis Mills on the roster, what happens if Watson says he’s prepared to play and wants to be put in?
If Watson decides he wants to play and forces Houston’s hands, it might cause the Texans to trade Watson during the 2021 season.
Theoretically, Houston could decide to deactivate him every week. It’s more challenging to make an actual pay suspension work if Watson isn’t on board. In 2006 the CBA stopped franchises from doing that. Therefore Watson can fight a refusal to let him practice or play.