NFL

Deshaun Watson Is Already Pressuring the Houston Texans to Make a Move Next Offseason

The Houston Texans have taken an unfortunate tumble south in the 2020 season, pushing them out of playoff contention. The Texans‘ postseason hopes may be all but crushed, but the franchise has their future set in place with Deshaun Watson. The star quarterback has now flexed his power of influence with his strong desire to see a particular teammate return next season.

Texans’ disappointing fall out of the playoff picture

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The Houston Texans entered the 2020 season with high aspirations after a trip to the divisional round of the playoffs.

The train quickly came off the tracks this year as Houston dropped six out of their first seven games that put them well out of the playoff picture. The Texans have since improved after firing longtime head coach Bill O’Brien, winning three out of their last four contests.

Houston has improved as the season has rolled along, but it may be too little too late to overcome the significant uphill battle. There are five more weeks left in the 2020 campaign, which hasn’t stopped Deshaun Watson from already making a strong plea for the franchise to bring back one of his teammates next year.

Deshaun Watson wants Houston to re-sign Will Fuller

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The 2020 season has had its fair share of disappointment, with the Houston Texans falling out of the playoff picture. Things haven’t been a total loss for Houston as Deshaun Watson has remained their lone bright spot.

As the Texans’ franchise cornerstone, Watson’s input is quite valuable. The Pro Bowl quarterback has used his platform to voice that wants the Texans to bring back wide receiver Will Fuller next offseason, according to Sarah Bishop of ESPN.

“Will knows that we all love him,” Watson said. “He always do the right thing and then one slip-up just got popped. But we always going to have his back. Will’s my brother. The whole organization knows that too. And you know, make sure that we get him back for next year, especially in this organization.”

Fuller received a six-game suspension on Monday after violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. The veteran wideout took to Instagram to voice he was given medication that wasn’t permitted by the NFL to use.

The Notre Dame product was amid a career-best campaign as he had 53 catches for 879 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games played. Fuller was on pace for his first 1,000 receiving yard season while he ranked sixth among wide receivers in touchdown receptions.

The 26-year-old is in the $10.1 million fifth-year option of his rookie deal and will hit the open market next March.

The Texans may hold all ythe cards

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Deshaun Watson’s comments exemplify that he has a strong bond with Will Fuller built up over the last few years.

Fuller has put himself in a difficult spot with his PED suspension, taking a significant ding to his market value around the league. Before the punishment, the dialogue around him shifted toward potentially garnering an annual salary between $14 million to $16 million.

A few teams could present him with a substantial deal, but a multi-year offer may not be on the table. The PED suspension puts a cloud over his career that will continue to remain regardless of his action moving forward. Combined with his checkered injury past, these concerns only work against him as other teams will have their warranted doubts. 

These circumstances may push the Texans to the cream of the crop, given their familiarity with Fuller. The franchise can also offer him a secure defined role in the offense. Deshaun Watson has depended on him significantly, which could only increase next season and beyond.

The Texans are reportedly open to re-signing Fuller despite the potential red flags with injuries and suspension. Much will unfold in the coming months, but the situation is a chance for Houston to make a move that has Deshaun Watson’s complete backing.