Today, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that latest developments in the Deshaun Watson saga:
The #Texans still haven’t engaged in trade talks, but they continue to get calls about Deshaun Watson. And if it becomes clear Watson won’t be there — via trade, holdout or otherwise — don’t rule out Alex Smith landing in Houston. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/q1yPLMBOTU— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 2, 2021
Nick Caserio and the Texans are still playing hardball with Watson and the rest of the league as they avoid any sort of trade talks, but the signing of Tyrod Taylor makes it clear they acknowledge the likelihood, or at least the possibility, Watson won’t play quarterback for Houston in 2021. However, Pelissero cites Caserio’s free agent signings and David Culley as a reason to believe former Washington quarterback Alex Smith could be on the Texans’ roster soon:
“...Smith has a history with new Texans coach David Culley, they were together for four years back in Kansas City. Smith still thinks that he can be a starter in the league, he wants a chance to compete...This would be a contingency plan of sorts for the Texans, in addition to having Tyrod Taylor...Look at what Nick Caserio has done at other positions. He wants competition on that roster. It’s too soon to say right now whether there’s any chance that Watson could be in a Houston uniform because again he has made clear publicly he does not intend to go back (to) the Texans. In terms of what plays out, again, with serious allegations, through civil suits, what would potentially play out through an NFL investigation which remains ongoing, all that remains to be seen. But those answers may be hard to come by in the less-than-four weeks we still have here prior to the NFL draft.”
With 21 civil lawsuits now alleging sexual misconduct against Deshaun Watson, a Sports Illustrated piece from an anonymous masseuse who is not involved in any of the lawsuits further detailing Watson’s alleged predatory behavior, and the fact Watson has previously made it clear he has no plans to ever play for the Houston Texans again, it’s looking incredibly unlikely he will be suiting up for the team anytime soon. Pelissero even stated at one point that a decision might not be made, “...until 2022.”
All of this news as we enter April likely means if Watson is not traded in the few weeks before the 2021 NFL Draft, he likely won’t be traded and/or playing football at all in 2021. If Caserio doesn’t start picking up the phone to field trade offers in the coming days, we might not see the end of this nightmare until next year. Caserio bringing in another veteran quarterback with connections to the coaching staff to compete with Tyrod Taylor for the starting job isn’t as wild as it appears on its face when taking all of this into account.
In 2020, Alex Smith went 5-1, completing 66.7% of his passes for 1582 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions with a passer rating of 78.5 as he led Washington to a 7-9 record and an NFC East title. He did not play in the wildcard game due to injury (which led to the Taylor Heinicke Awakening), but was partially responsible for WFT’s late season resurgence.
Make no mistake, though: Alex Smith is aggressively mediocre. He has average to poor arm strength, is middlingly accurate, is mostly only functional inside of a clean pocket, and is frequently injured. It’s a miracle that he was able to return to football after his gruesome leg injury in 2018 (which he suffered against the Texans), but unless he dramatically improves during the offseason, he is not a starting quarterback in the NFL. If you give him a clean pocket and decent receivers, he’ll make the right read and make a decent throw as long as it isn’t 10 or more yards downfield; anything beyond that dink and dunk offense is asking a lot out of him at this point in his career. He’s not a bad quarterback, just not a good one. If we were to sign him, it shouldn’t be for starting competition, but to have a solid backup for Taylor.
That’s just my opinion. I know there’s still plenty of Alex Smith fans out there that believe he’s going to return to form in 2021, and I don’t believe that’s outside the realm of possibility. What do you think of this news? Are you an Alex Smith fan, or would this be a eye roll worthy signing? Let us know in the comments!
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