The Houston Texans have a big problem on their hands, and it isn’t related to their performance on the field. After a 4-12 season where they fired their general manager and head coach Bill O’Brien, Houston was looking to rebuild their team and instill a new culture in the organization. They have their franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson, who had a fantastic year despite Houston’s shortcomings.
That is where the issues with Houston lie. Watson is not happy about the situation brewing in Houston. Things have become so bad that reports have said that Watson might ask for a trade from the Texans. If Houston does want to trade their superstar quarterback, they can’t trade him anywhere. Deshaun Watson has control of his future thanks to a clause in his contract.
Deshaun Watson isn’t happy with the Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson is not happy with the Texans organization. They have failed him up to this point in his career, failing to provide adequate weapons around him. Things between Watson and the Texans started to get sour after O’Brien traded Deandre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals last offseason. After a 4-12 year where he led the NFL in passing yards, Watson made it clear what needed to change in Houston.
Houston wanted Watson to have a hand in their head coach and GM search, as he is the quarterback of the future for this franchise. Watson gave a list of candidates he thought were fit for the GM opening per ESPN. However, the Texans ignored any of Watson’s recommendations, hiring Nick Caserio as their new GM per ESPN.
The way Houston went about their general manager search is what angered Watson. Houston didn’t even let him know they went with Caserio. The former first-round pick found out through social media about the hiring. The lack of communication and involvement has been a sore spot in Watson’s relationship with Houston. He was frustrated about the hiring process, voicing his frustrations on Twitter.
This is the latest instance where Watson is unhappy with Houston. Throw in all of the poor roster moves and wasted seasons; it makes sense that Watson is considering asking for a trade. The Texans haven’t shown him he is valued or the franchise’s priority outside of that $156 million extension they gave him. It’s that same contract that allows Watson to control his football destiny.
The clause that gives Deshaun Watson control of his destiny
It is very early in the NFL offseason, but there are already some rumors about where the Texans could send their superstar quarterback. One team that has come up in conversation is the Miami Dolphins. They have the draft capital and young assets Houston might be looking for. However, the Texans can’t trade Watson unless he agrees to the conditions.
That is because, in Watson’s contract, he has what is called a no-trade clause. This is a special clause that prevents the Texans from trading Watson to any team in the NFL. If the Texans have any trade that includes Deshaun Watson in place, he must agree to the trade before it becomes official. This will be a huge asset for him if he wants to be traded from Houston.
Having this no-trade clause gives Watson all of the leverage. He can choose his next destination, forcing the Texans to work with a team of his choosing. This will be a welcomed change, as Houston hasn’t done a good job of listening to Watson’s wishes since he’s joined the team. The control of their next destination is what every player wants, and Watson has that power.
The Texans put themselves in this situation with their star quarterback. They are the ones who gave him the no-trade clause in his new contract. Now they are prisoners to their own decision, as Watson has full control over who he gets traded to in the situation Houston is shopping him around.
The Texans have failed Deshaun Watson
If it wasn’t evident before the Texans went 4-12 this season, it has to be apparent now. The Houston Texans have failed Deshaun Watson up to this point in his career. They have failed to protect him or put the necessary pieces around him to help him, and the organization achieve success. His talents are being wasted in Houston, and he should want out.
Watson led the league with 4,823 passing yards. This is the first time a quarterback led the NFL in passing yards with 12 or more losses since Jeff George did for the 1997 Raiders per ESPN Stats and Information. The Texans haven’t protected Watson enough, as he was sacked 49 times last season. Only Carson Wentz was sacked more times, and he didn’t play in the Eagles’ final four games. Watson has taken a beating throughout his career, which isn’t suitable for a dual-threat quarterback’s durability.
The lack of defense is another issue. Houston’s defense gave up the third-most total yards per game (416.8) and the sixth-most points per game (29) this year. Watson was either playing from behind or in a shootout all season. He can’t be expected to bail the defense out every time because he is a star. The Texans have tried to make Watson do it all, and it has backfired on them.
Deshaun Watson’s time in Houston might be coming to an end. He is unhappy there, and it doesn’t look like the Texans are interested in his opinions, despite him being their best player. At least Watson can choose where he wants to go. That no-trade clause will help him go to his desired destination, should he want to get out of Houston.