It looks like a standoff is brewing down in Houston. During newly hired head coach David Culley's introductory press conference on Friday, GM Nick Caserio was quick to address the elephant in the room: Deshaun Watson requesting a trade. Caserio was firm in his and the club's desire to not acquiesce to that request by Watson and instead expressed their intention of keeping the 25-year-old star quarterback.
"I just want to address a couple of things quickly before we get started," said Caserio. "Organizationally, just want to reiterate our commitment to Deshaun Watson. He's had a great impact on this organization, a great impact on a lot of people, great impact on this team. We look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring once we get started. We have zero interest in trading the player. We have a great plan, a great vision for him and for this team and his role on our team. We look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring."
Culley was also unyielding in his belief that he'll be coaching Watson in 2021.
"He is a Houston Texan," the new head coach said. "I want him to be a Houston Texan. The reason I'm in this position today is because I know he is going to be a Houston Texan. The outside stuff is irrelevant to me."
Of course, this is really the only stance the Texans brass can take at this point. While they'd certainly like to mend the fences between them and Watson, it does feel like they've reached a point of no return with their once franchise quarterback, which is also something that CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones has previously pointed out as well. Caserio does himself no favors by publically announcing that they'll be fielding offers for Watson. In fact, declaring that they have no desire to move him could end up being a savvy negotiating tactic intended to tell other clubs to up the ante in their trade packages or they'll simply hang on to him.
Watson does own a no-trade clause so things are a bit more complex to get a deal done for Caserio, but it does seem inevitable that the league's passing yards leader will not be wearing Texans colors by Week 1 next season even if the club has "zero interest" in that eventual fate.