Deshaun Watson is not a happy camper, and the Houston Texans are already feeling his angst, by way of having been unable to get in contact with their franchise quarterback this offseason. One of the biggest grievances in Watson’s mental war chest lies in how the team told him they’d include him in discussions on the hiring of the club’s next general manager and, ultimately, who the next head coach will be, but it appears they reneged on that promise when they hired Nick Caserio in January.
A seemingly well-timed and now-deleted tweet ignited speculation Watson was displeased with the move, and a follow-up tweet only served to pour gasoline on the flames.
“Big Bro told me when they painted you a picture, don’t let them paint you another picture,” he said.
One issue with Watson wanting out in Houston is that his newly-inked four-year, $156 million contract extension includes a no-trade clause, but that’s not truly a problem at all, because he can waive it whenever he so chooses. It sounds as if he’s approaching that point as the offseason gets underway, with the reportedly angry Pro Bowl quarterback open to playing hardball with the Texans, per Chris Mortensen of ESPN, and in a heavy-handed fashion. Not only is Watson mulling a waive of his no-trade clause, but is also allegedly looking to involve the Miami Dolphins in a potential trade scenario that might involve rookie fifth-overall pick Tua Tagovailoa.
Watson is also not simply upset with the Caserio move and/or how it played out, but is also reportedly miffed at the Texans unwillingness to interview Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy for the head coach vacancy. Rumor has it Watson lobbied to have the team take a hard look at Bienemy after getting a glaring endorsement from Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, but the Texans instead turned a blind eye to the ask — adding more logs to a fire that includes Watson’s ongoing concern about the team’s insensitivity to matters of social justice.
As it stands, Caserio has come out and publicly stated Watson is “our quarterback,” and despite talks of head coach Brian Flores considering the possibility Tagovailoa may not be the answer in Miami, the Dolphins themselves have doubled down on the opposite being true. And with that, as it stands, a stalemate exists, and one that is also wrought with complications if the two sides do decide to open talks of a possible QB swap.
One would be Watson’s contract, something the Dolphins would have to be willing to take on and give up more than Tagovailoa for the right to do so. Still unproven in the NFL and coming off of a poor outing in Week 17, the Texans would hold leverage in that regard, and considering Watson is a proven dynamo at the position, but the Dolphins are stacked with 2021 draft picks that include the ones they acquired from the Texans in the Laremy Tunsil trade — one that sees the Texans having no first-round pick in April by virtue of the Dolphins owning it, along with other future selections.
Could the two sides come to an agreement that gives the Texans a couple of premium picks back along with Tagovailoa and the Dolphins a quarterback that could instantly take their franchise to the next level? That remains to be seen, but there is a longstanding relationship between Flores and Caserio, stemming from their time together with the New England Patriots. That alone could grease the wheels to at least see the proposition entertained by one or both sides, but that remains speculation until further notice.
What is not speculation, however, is how Watson feels about the Texans in January.