With less than four weeks to go until the NFL trade deadline, the Houston Texans have a big decision to make about Deshaun Watson. If the Texans want to deal him away this year, they have to do it by the deadline date of Nov. 2. If Watson is still on the roster after that, the Texans won’t be able to trade him until March.
One person who has kept quiet on the issue of a possible trade is Texans owner Cal McNair. However, that changed this week when he was asked about the situation while attending an event in Houston. When asked what’s going to happen with Watson, McNair made it clear that general manager Nick Caserio is in charge of that, but he also added that it’s a “day-to-day” situation.
“We’ll just wait and see,” McNair said of the Watson situation, via Sports Talk 790. “It’s a day-to-day thing. Nick is in charge of that. We’ll see how that works out.”
When asked if Watson would be dealt away by the trade deadline, McNair offered a four-word answer, “I have no idea.”
The interesting thing here is that McNair could have shut down any and all trade rumors by saying that Houston wasn’t interested in trading its beleaguered quarterback. Instead, McNair actually added some gas to the fire by saying that the situation is “day-to-day.”
If Watson was going to play for the Texans this year, it likely would have come after Tyrod Taylor went down with a rib injury, but instead, the Texans turned to rookie Davis Mills. It was already somewhat clear that Watson wasn’t going to play for them this year, but after that decision was made, it became 100 percent clear that Watson wasn’t going to take a single snap for Houston in 2021.
It won’t be surprising at all if Watson gets dealt before the trade deadline. As a matter of fact, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports recently reported that the Texans have “softened” their stance about a possible trade. Basically, the Texans weren’t taking calls earlier this season, but now they are.
One reason Watson hasn’t been traded yet is likely because of the Texans’ asking price, which is at least three first-round picks. Most teams likely consider that too steep of a price to pay for a quarterback who’s not only facing 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct, but also facing several police complaints.
As one NFL source told CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora in September, there’s just too much risk in making a trade for Watson because the team that acquires him doesn’t even know if he’ll be allowed to play this year.
“We’ve checked with the league, and they have no idea when any of this will be cleared up. So what are you trading for? Give up all those picks and he isn’t playing anyway and he’s making $35M next year and he still might be on the exempt list or suspended then? Why would you do it now? What owner is taking that risk?”
The Dolphins continue to be the one trade partner who makes the most sense, and some members of the front office want to see the team pull the trigger, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson, but if the Texans aren’t willing to lower their asking price, it might not be a risk the Dolphins are willing to take, which means Watson might be stuck in Houston until the offseason.