Watson, the Texans’ star quarterback, wants to follow DeAndre Hopkins and James Harden in getting far away from Houston. So far, the Texans have been firm in saying they won’t trade Watson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
Before he meets with a divorce lawyer, Watson may want to consult a religious figure and pray for a trade. The longer that Watson stays in Houston, the better chance he has of losing money.
Deshaun Watson and the Texans are in a bitter feud
Just months after signing a contract extension, Deshaun Watson has seen enough from the Houston Texans.
The Texans have upset Watson with numerous front office moves over the last year. Former Texans head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien traded star wideout DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for a mediocre return.
Houston then held off on interviewing Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy — widely considered one of the coaching carousel’s top candidates — for the head coaching vacancy. Watson reportedly wanted the team to hire Bieniemy.
Houston hired Ravens assistant coach David Culley. Bieniemy did not become a head coach this offseason.
The Texans don’t intend to trade Watson
The Houston Texans are committed to fixing the relationship with Deshaun Watson — or, at least, attempting to try.
Texans general manager Nick Caserio publicly said the team will not trade “the player,” referring to Watson. It is worth noting that Watson has a no-trade clause and holds significant power in the relationship.
If the Texans do not trade Watson in the coming weeks, he can realistically skip offseason activities. That also applies to the summer of 2021, where Watson could boycott training camp and any preseason games.
Players regularly hold out of offseason workouts and training camp while awaiting a new contract. While with the Cincinnati Bengals, quarterback Carson Palmer retired in the summer of 2011 rather than report to training camp because of issues he had with the team.
Cincinnati, which had drafted TCU’s Andy Dalton that spring, traded Palmer to the then-Oakland Raiders in October 2011.
Deshaun Watson has the potential to lose a great deal of money
Deshaun Watson runs the risk of losing serious money if the Houston Texans do not trade him.
In his weekly NBC Sports column, veteran NFL scribe Peter King assessed the Watson trade rumors. King then shared his findings on how much money that Watson could lose in fines.
“Watson, as a player under an existing contract, would be fined for missing the mandatory offseason minicamp, fined for every practice he skips in the preseason (approximately 28), and fined for every game he misses in the preseason (likely to be three, if the NFL goes to a 17-game schedule in 2021). The total fine, by my calculation, would be about $2,355,877. That’s money out of his pocket.”
According to Spotrac, Watson’s base salary in 2021 is just over $10.5 million. If he skipped any of the Texans’ games, Watson would also lose that week’s check.
Both the Texans and Watson each hold their share of power in this fight. It will be interesting to see who breaks first.
All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.