Caserio: Deshaun Watson Is Our Quarterback

Star quarterback Deshaun Watson is not happy that the Texans failed to truly involve him in their search for a GM despite being told that they would do so. That has led to speculation that Watson could request a trade from Houston, but in his introductory press conference, new general manager Nick Caserio tried to quash any such rumors.

“[Watson is] our quarterback,” Caserio said. “I can’t tell you how much respect and admiration I have for him as a player” (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com).

That’s all well and good, and a trade might be difficult to pull off anyway given that Watson just signed a massive extension that runs through the 2025 season (though there would likely be no shortage of teams willing to take on Watson’s contract and give up significant draft capital to land him, and the dead cap charge on Houston’s books would be a relatively modest $21.6MM). But as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes, Watson remains highly upset, and the team has been unable to get in touch with him. He is on vacation, but it doesn’t sound as if that has anything to do with the lack of communication. Wilson says that Watson is in no mood to hear from the team right now, and that it will be some time before he is ready to talk about his unhappiness.

At today’s presser, owner Cal McNair said the following: “I’ve come to understand [Watson] feels left out of the process. … [H]e and I had several visits and I understood his point of view before meeting with candidates. I’ve reached out to Deshaun and I look forward to him getting back to me when he returns from his vacation” (Twitter link via Mark Berman of Fox 26).

That statement jibes with yesterday’s report that McNair and Watson did indeed meet to discuss GM candidates, but the problem is that McNair did not even consider the names that Watson — who was reportedly representing a large group of his teammates — endorsed. Watson did not necessarily expect McNair to choose one of his candidates, and he does not have an issue with the Caserio hire in and of itself, but he feels as though he was given little more than lip service before McNair charged ahead with the exec he has been eyeing for a long time.

So one of Caserio’s primary orders of business will be to smooth things over with Watson — whenever Watson is ready — and he will also need to find a new head coach. Of course, Watson was also told that he would have input into the team’s HC search, and the fact that the Texans will not so much as interview Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy — who was said to be one of Watson’s top choices — is surely contributing to the quarterback’s displeasure.

Another nugget to come out of the press conference is that executive VP Jack Easterby will remain with the team. Some say that Easterby, who was brought in to improve the club’s culture, has only made it worse, and that he has an inordinate amount of sway over McNair (a notion buttressed by Easterby’s relationship with Caserio, which dates back to their days with the Patriots). However, as McNair has stated previously and reiterated today, Easterby — who had been serving as interim GM after Bill O’Brien‘s dismissal — will return to some of his earlier roles (Twitter link via Wilson). Caserio will have full control over the roster, the draft, and free agency.

As Wilson notes in a separate tweet, Caserio had plenty of positive things to say about Easterby. “Jack and I have had a special relationship,” Caserio said. “He’s helped me a lot personally. He’s someone I’ve always leaned on. I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for [him].”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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36 comments on “Caserio: Deshaun Watson Is Our Quarterback

    • bigjonliljon

      Tell him to concentrate on his job and the owner do his. I don’t think the way of us have any say when the owners of our companies hire management personnel. Don’t understand why these players think they should. If he doesn’t like it…. retire. Or don’t show up to work and don’t cash any of his pay checks. #over indulged cry babies

      • bencole

        First of all, you don’t bring anything to the table that is valuable enough to have a say in the hiring of management… he does. That’s what the free market bares. You are not his equal in economic worth, he can do things in his job that you simply can’t because he’s worth more economic value to his employer than you are. So this nonsense I see all over the place about the comparison of employment expectations needs to stop. Your job can force you to do things that his can’t force him to do because of the difference in economic value.

        That said, I agree that I don’t want to see management told what to do by players. That’s bad for the league and part of what makes the NBA awful. But, if the owner represented to him that he would be a part of the process, and he’s not now, and especially if it was represented to him before he signed the extension, Watson has every right to be angry. That’s what changes the situation. I would be angry with the owner for making those representations if I were you, assuming they did make them. That has no place in the NFL.

        • parx

          These is a solid message, I drive a forklift for a living, if I were outraged by a management hire at my company they would simply replace me very easily, I cannot throw a football with a perfect spiral 40 yards while 300 pound beasts are trying to rip my heart out, no one on this thread is deshaun Watson, the owner should’ve said we will listen to your suggestions but I’m goin with caserio if I can get him, i bet things would be different. All that being said I am a bears fan unfortunately(worst team to make the playoffs in nfl history) and we need to give up 25 first rounders and 15% of soldier field concession sales to get deshaun Watson and do whatever he says because we have never had that level quarterback since the day I was born in 87

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      It amazes me how upset people get when a player wants some say in his own situation. Being a professional athlete is not like working for a grocery store or a fast food place. If you’re unhappy you can’t just go to another place of employment so easy. Why do people call millionaire players “spoiled” and/or “crybabies” while defending billionaire owners? A good portion of billionaires just inherit the money somehow, anyway.

      • despicable_you

        Because stocking shelves is painful labor compared to playing quarterback, right?

      • glooney1

        Why does it matter how the owner got their money? They’re the ones paying the bills, assuming the liabilities, and responsible for the overall wellbeing of the organization. I understand Watson’s displeasure if he was assured a say in the hiring, but if wants to make the decisions, buy your own team.

        • LordBanana

          hey glooney, it’s me, a billionaire. thank u so much for defending my billions of dollars on the internet. I worked hard for my daddy to give me all this money and now I will reward you!

        • Special Agent

          Stop speaking sense. Many fans want to make owners the bad guys, the same owners that help give fans a team to follow and with which to emotionally invest.

          Yes, if Watson was told his suggestions would be interviewed and one would be hired (and neither happened), then that’s wrong. However he signed the big contract knowing who the owner was and is and might be forevermore.

          They rarely consult employees.

          • Ak185

            I don’t think either millionaires nor billionaires need any of us defend them with over-personalized arguments. Deshaun is vacationing in Cabo right now because his girlfriend just turned 25. Cal McNair can probably buy the hotel they’re staying in. Neither one has it tough here, so calm down with the histrionics.

            Watson has no right to make demands in a business that he does not own. Watson has every right to feel unhappy when a business that relies on his commitment refuses to respect his opinion that the business sought out to begin with. It’s as simple as that. We’ll move on, we’ll see if they do, but for now, the moral righteousness of one versus the other is irrelevant.

      • jjd002

        Watson had some say on his career when he signed that massive extension.

  1. Appalachian_Outlaw

    Washington should go all-in on Watson. They’ve got the defense and a solid run game. You add Watson to that and beef up the OL a bit and that feels like a perennial Division winner for a few seasons.

      • fathead0507

        I’d start with Jon Allen, who’s gonna be coming up on free agency. Use that money to take on Watson contract plus with all the other players in next 2 yrs needing paid by WFT.. Then add some picks and Jimmy Moreland type .. Texans need DB help ..

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        Maybe Alex Smith to offset money if he’s still under contract, a 1st rd pick in ’21 and ’23, and a 2nd rd pick in ’22 and ’24?

    • rocky7

      You add Watson and the massive extension he just signed and each and every Washington player whose contract comes up will want big money to re-sign. So, that will accelerate gutting the team of that top talent, and then combined with your plan to give away much of their draft capital a (1st rd pick in ’21 and ’23, and a 2nd rd pick in ’22 and ’24), the draft will be screwed too…good examples are the current Eagles team, saddled with a QB contract that is crippling them even if they trade him, and $70 Million projection over the salary cap……another is the Cowboys who are faced with a Dak request for $40 Million/yr which combined with Elliots contract will cripple that team for many seasons…..

      • Special Agent

        People are assuming Wentz can’t bounce back. He can.

        The Eagles need to heal the Wentz- Pederson relationship. It can be done.

        • Ak185

          By firing Pederson, I would bet. There is more in Wentz’s future I think, but that’s not as relevant to this conversation.

          Wentz’s availability, though, could impact a potential Watson market. Now, I very highly doubt that Watson ends up anywhere other than Houston, and I think most of you think the same. But in terms of QBs with massive contracts who are still fairly young, the question becomes whether Wentz’s availability affects the hypothetical offer made by a team to either. The thing with Wentz is a trade still results in a negative cap charge for Philly, unless it’s done I believe by the second week of the league new year (could be wrong on the date). If Philly deals Wentz, it’d have to be for enough to offset that charge, unless Wentz I believe gives back his signing bonus. So he’d have to like the trade offer…a lot.

          Watson has a no trade clause. So in order for him to waive that, he’d have to like his offer…a lot. I can’t imagine either player wanting to go to a team who gave up a lot of picks for him. Since they won’t be getting big new extensions, they’d want to go to a team run better than their current team with a better chance to win. We know it’ll take high picks to get either one of those two guys. So, it’d have to be a team good enough to win now, minus the picks used in the trade (picks that they obviously have to have now to make the trade in the first place). So, who does that leave?

          By my count…

          Indianapolis
          Denver
          Washington
          Pittsburgh????

          No way Houston trades Watson to a division rival, and if Indy trades for somebody, Wentz has familiarity that Watson does not. In that way he affects the market. Washington’s offense will need those picks used in the hypothetical trade to get receivers. Denver is a quarterback away, with a very young offensive core, but seems unlikely to make that trade in a new GM’s first year. Pittsburgh likely wants to go through the draft, as they have traditionally done. I’m just not sure that the market is right for Watson to be traded, a year after his extension.

  2. raider j81

    I get Watson is the face of the franchise but he’s never won anything in the nfl. Why on earth would he have a say on hiring a GM?? A coach maybe but a GM, c’mon bruh your name ain’t Brady or Manning

    • Ak185

      The “never won anything“ argument never, ever, ever, in the history of humankind has ever produced a useable result. You’re right that he shouldn’t be picking his superiors, but you’re not right in saying that he hasn’t won anything. He has won games, been to the playoffs (and won there). Superbowls are not the only thing that counts in evaluating a player’s career. You judge players on their talent in a team sport. This next part is where I cite the Trent Dilfer/Brad Johnson argument, but you should be familiar with that by now.

  3. crosseyedlemon

    Watson is no more qualified to advise FO people on how to do their jobs than the cheerleaders are qualified to advise Watson on how to play the QB position.

    • If they’re the same FO people who let Bill O’Brien absolutely destroy the team right before their eyes, then Watson is indeed qualified to advise them on how to do their jobs.

      It amazes me how much animosity NFL fans have towards the players and how much reverence they bestow upon the owners and executives. Just totally baffling. What makes you think Watson is unqualified? There are a TON of ex-players who thrive in upper-level management and GM roles once they retire.

      Watson wants a say because he saw his team decimated by horrible FO moves. How can you blame him?

      • crosseyedlemon

        I’m sure there are plenty of players on losing teams that have opinions on how things could be improved so should all of them be granted management consultant privileges too? Just because your the QB or the highest paid player on the team doesn’t mean you know jack ___ about how to make wise management decisions.

        • crb15

          Playing football at the highest level, understanding the financial/economical ramifications, and evaluating talent are all completely different things. What qualifies him for the latter two things? The fact that he is the QB? I doubt it. Why not give JJ Watt (a veteran and another player that has gone through all the FO woes) a say in all those decisions?

      • phillyballers

        Is Watson our there scouting players? He knows how to manage the cap? He knows who to hire for player development? He isn’t qualified. Being a good player doesnt mean you’ll be a good coach or FO person. Belichick played D3 football. Okay and hes Top-5 GOAT coaches/GM convo.

        • crosseyedlemon

          I agree with phillyballers. You only have to look at how often Elway has struck out trying to find a franchise QB to realize players don’t generally have the skills to be good GMs.

      • Special Agent

        You mean it’s amazing how much reverence people bestow upon players.

        • LordBanana

          Lmao yeah why would football fans like football players, makes no sense. I just go to games to stare at the owners box and wish he’d be my friend.

  4. Sponge

    Since when do quarterbacks HAVE to be consulted over decisions like this? I always thought it was an honor when a player was consulted. That always indicated to me that they meant something, not just to the current team, but to the organization as a whole. Like, say, a Dan Marino or a Brett Favre or a Johnny Unitas meant to their teams. I think Watson is an unbelievable talent, but to say that as of right now with everything that he’s accomplished thus far, that he’ll be remembered 20-30 years down the road in the same breath as those 3 guys is far-fetched. Heck, even the Packers didn’t ask Aaron about drafting the next QB. And he’s accomplished way more than Watson.

    • LordBanana

      QB is the most important position in the NFL and on every team, the one thing that can make or break a franchise’s championship hopes. The position they invest the most time, money and resources to. Why on earth would you NOT consult him? Teams should ignore the advice of the most important guy on the team just to keep athletes down a little bit? “Well we could ask our QB who he wants to throw to, but we’re just gonna guess instead!”
      It’s like hiring a famous chef to run your restaurant but then not listening to them about what cooks to hire.

      • Ak185

        It’s not like that at all. Watson might be a good person to ask about receivers or tight ends, but he’s wrong person to ask about which weak side coverage linebacker you need to stop a tight seam that’s been killing your defense. That’s a GM does. Your example would be better if your restaurant hired the top end chef and needed his culinary perspective on which groundskeeper should tend the hyacinths by the sidewalk.

  5. seth3120

    I don’t think a player should be able to pick a gm however don’t tell him he has a say then hire one without so much as a phone call. I do admire Watsons will to win and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist at QB to know BOB set your franchise back a number of years. You have a top franchise type QB and you trade away his top target for a RB who was showing signs of aging before the deal. Then he gives away a haul of the future for Tunsil. One of the worst GM’s ever. Casario will be solid but after BOB maybe Watson deserves to be in the loop

  6. phillyballers

    So Watson for Tua? I’d want my 1st back and another 1st. But its doable. 5.4M deadcap in 21, 22, 23, and 24.

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