It appears the Deshaun Watson era is over with the Houston Texans. The relationship has taken center stage this offseason and is fueled by Watson's angst toward owner Cal McNair and Jack Easterby, the tumult reaching fever pitch with the team reneged on promises to include him in helping to identify the team's next head coach -- with further gasoline having been poured on the fire by the hiring of Nick Caserio as general manager. What had not occurred yet, however, was a formal request (read: demand) by Watson to be traded, but the Texans have now reportedly received just that.
Watson has requested to be moved out of Houston, CBS Sports insider Jason La Canfora confirms, news that comes only hours after they named David Culley as the team's new head coach and work to build a new staff around him.
It appears the actual request isn't recent and has nothing to do with Culley, and Watson has continued to shun the Texans front office in their attempts to reach him to potentially open a dialogue into resolving things. That proves Watson is indeed looking to play hardball with the Texans, and to the point he's willing to waive his no-trade clause to make sure he never takes another snap for them in the future. Rumor has it Watson is already eyeing a handful of preferred destinations, with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins topping his list. Both have the collateral to make a serious offer for Watson, and the Dolphins are currently also owners of several of the Texans 2021 draft picks by way of the Laremy Tunsil trade, but there would be a lot of moving pieces to any sort of trade deal getting done.
For one, Watson must not only approve of the destination -- thanks to the his no-trade clause -- but so must the Texans. And considering the two sides aren't in communication as of late, that will make it that much more difficult to get on the same page regarding what would ultimately be a blockbuster trade. The Texans must also approve of the compensation package, be it Sam Darnold and more or Tua Tagovailoa and more, or a list of other possible scenarios that could also involve teams not mentioned here.
It's feels like a foregone conclusion they would not simply going to give Watson away from peanuts like they did to all-world wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins during the Bill O'Brien era, a move that could be viewed as the genesis of Watson's frustration in Houston, and it's also unclear if they'd prefer to move Watson to the NFC and out of their conference altogether. Furthermore, there's no guarantee they trade him at all -- Caserio recently proclaiming Watson as "our quarterback" -- which could set off a series of seismic football events that potentially include a holdout of some sort. Watson wants to play in 2021 though, but not for the Texans, and he indirectly made it clear via Twitter in late December that the differences are irreconcilable.
"Big Bro told me when they painted you a picture, don't let them paint you another picture."