The Texans are seeking second interviews with Leslie Frazier and Eric Bieniemy for their head coaching vacancy, and both men would seem to be good bets to smooth things over with disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson. Frazier, who has previous HC experience, is seen as a strong leader and stabilizing influence, and his background as a defensive-minded coach would probably allow the team to keep Watson favorite Tim Kelly as OC. Meanwhile, Bieniemy was endorsed by Watson early on in the process and is widely regarded as a top offensive mind.
However, it appears that the situation is no longer salvageable. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Watson wants out of Houston and will not change his mind regardless of whom the team hires as its next HC (via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com on Twitter).
Assuming that’s true, that could obviously make the Texans’ job considerably less attractive. On the other hand, a Watson trade would net a bounty of much-needed draft picks, one of which could be used on a top rookie signal-caller. It does not presently appear as though Watson’s discontent is dissuading either Frazier or Bieniemy, as both men are said to be assembling potential staffs in case they should be hired. Though the loss of Watson would obviously sting, a power structure comprised of Frazier or Bieniemy as HC and Nick Caserio as GM has a lot of potential.
As of now, Watson — who would have to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal — is reportedly interested in joining either the Dolphins or Jets, and the Panthers have been mentioned as a potential suitor as well. Both AFC East clubs have ample draft capital to get a deal done, and some sources believe Watson prefers the Jets.
However, Matt Miller of TheDraftScout.com says Gang Green is not Watson’s preferred destination at this point (Twitter link). Still, it would not be surprising to see the Jets enter the bidding, especially since Woody Johnson is returning from his post as former president Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom and will resume his role as principal owner with final say on all matters. Although Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says Johnson will presumably allow his football people make the decision, Johnson’s love of splashy acquisitions at quarterback could add another layer of intrigue to the Watson matter.
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