The Texans delivered a stunner on Friday morning, releasing longtime star J.J. Watt. It’s fair to wonder whether disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson will be the next superstar to go, but CEO Cal McNair says he’s still very much in the team’s plans.
“There is a lot of misinformation out there, I’ll leave it at that,” McNair said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). “Today we want on focus on J.J. Deshaun is our quarterback, he is a Texan, and we expect him to remain a Texan, and we’ll leave that.”
So far, the Texans have rebuffed all inquiries on Watson, even though the quarterback has asked for a trade. Watson is reportedly interested in going to the Dolphins or the Jets. The Panthers have also jumped in, and ex-teammate Kareem Jackson says that Watson has interest in joining the Broncos. Both AFC East teams could offer the Texans a ton of draft picks to make the trade work. Or, the Dolphins could dangle rising NFL sophomore Tua Tagovailoa to make it a blockbuster for the ages. Still, the Texans say they’re keeping No. 4.
The Texans still have some leverage here. Watson would be subject to daily fines if he abstains from camp and the Texans could also 86 his $82.5MM in remaining guarantees. Still, if Watson doesn’t want to be in Houston, it’s hard to imagine a realistic path forward. It’s also possible that the Texans have privately resolved to trade Watson while putting on a strong face publicly to net the best trade package possible.
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