On January 24th, ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen reported that Deshaun Watson is expected to want out of Houston regardless of who the Texans’ new head coaching hire will be, potentially dealing a fatal blow to anyone who thought the hire of Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy could save Watson’s relationship with the franchise.
As @mortreport reported on ESPN’s Postseason NFL Countdown, the Texans' head coaching hire is not expected to change Deshaun Watson's thinking. He still is expected to want out of Houston, no matter who the head coach is, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 24, 2021
If these reports are true, the fact this information has gotten to the public is confirmation that Deshaun Watson no longer wants to be the quarterback for the Houston Texans. His patience has completely worn out thanks to a team that promised to involve him in the head coach and general manager search only to turn their backs and did the complete opposite. The DeAndre Hopkins trade (which Watson learned about from Twitter), the disaster of a season last year, and the process the Texans went through to hire Nick Caserio (which he ALSO learned about from Twitter) was all that he could bear.
This consistent news stream of a worsening relationship between Watson and the Texans led many fans to believe that this relationship was bad and probably getting worse, but still salvageable. This couldn’t possibly be the end of Deshaun Watson being our quarterback, could it? Sadly, yes. This could be the end. More than enough information has now leaked to make it very clear Deshaun Watson has no desire to play for the Houston Texans again. If there’s enough information that we can see to come to this conclusion, can you imagine how much is still going on behind the scenes? There is much more unknown about the Watson-Texans relationship that has yet to be disclosed, and we will likely not know everything until Watson is actually gone. Unless McNair, Caserio, or someone else pulls off a miracle and somehow reels Watson back in, we’re going to be in the market for a new passer.
There’s still a tiny part of me that believes Deshaun Watson will still be here come September, but this was the final report I needed for my cerebral cortex to fire off those nerve endings stating, “He’s gone.” This bungled process really was the last straw for Deshaun, and it’s likely only a matter of time until he officially requests a trade. It’s eerily reminding me of the Antonio Brown/Steelers debacle, minus the egos and horrible personalities. I really think Deshaun Watson has played his last game as a Texan.
The Texans are expected to request a second interview with Buffalo Billsdefensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and could ask for a second interview with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy after Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, sources told ESPN.
Frazier privately has told some people that he thinks he has a legitimate chance to land the Texans’ job and has tried assembling a coaching staff in the event that he does. Bieniemy had a strong staff, but some of his candidates are beginning to accept other jobs.
Frazier is said to have had a strong interview with the Texans and has previous head-coaching experience from his time with the Minnesota Vikings. Bieniemy is viewed in many circles as a head coach in waiting, although he has recently been passed over by several teams.
As Houston’s head-coaching search ramps up, the winning coordinator from Sunday’s game could be the loser in the Texans’ search, as they would have to wait to hire him. The Texans could act quicker with the coordinator from the losing team.
This scenario played a key role in the Los Angeles Chargers’ hiring of Brandon Staley last weekend over Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Once Staley’s Rams were eliminated from the playoffs, the Chargers were unwilling to wait for Daboll and hired Staley.
Other candidates the Texans have interviewed include quarterback Josh McCown, former Lions and Colts coach Jim Caldwell, Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, and Ravens assistant head coach David Culley. Some around the league believe that Caldwell also is in prime consideration for the Texans’ head-coaching job.
In the context of Deshaun Watson leaving, this news is rather diminutive in comparison. Either way, now that Buffalo has lost to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, Leslie Frazier seems to be the front runner for the job. We still have hope for Bieniemy, but if Cal McNair doesn’t have to appeal to Watson by hiring Bieniemy, we’ll probably end up getting someone worse.
Even Houston’s Mayor, Sylvester Turner, has tweeted out his desire to see the relationship between Deshaun Watson and the Texans mended:
I value @deshaunwatson as a player but I respect him even more as a person. I know he loves this City because I have seen how much he has given of himself and his treasure to people in this City. I am humbled to be his Mayor. I hope that won’t change anytime soon. st— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) January 25, 2021
Oh, the melodrama!
I do sincerely hope these rumors that paint such a dire picture for the 2021 Texans are just that: rumors. Unsubstantiated jargon that holds no water and should be ignored as if a passing flake of snow in the winter breeze. However, many of these rumors have direct ties to experienced NFL insiders like Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, who sift through avalanches of show-stopping leads that never see the light of day due to a lack of substance. Every year, we see a big trade, big free agent signing, or some drama in the NFL world that is immediately followed by Schefter or Ian Rapoport on television saying something along the lines of, “We heard about the potential of this happening, but few of us believed it would happen” or, “You could see [player’s name] preparing for something like this behind the scenes, and this was the day it finally all went public.” If they’re deciding to tweet out this information on Deshaun Watson, chances are there’s some substance behind it.
It happened with DeAndre Hopkins last year. His departure felt like a shock to the system, but waves and waves of information about what was really going on in Houston cleared the fog on why Hopkins was shipped out. It wouldn’t be surprising if the same happened with Watson.
What this does mean, however, is that the Texans will likely have a very high first round selection this year! Woooooo...I guess. Regardless of whoever we end up trading with, we will be in the market for a new quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. Who’s the lucky one? Trevor Lawrence? Justin Fields? Zach Wilson? Maybe Trey Lance or Mac Jones? Hopefully not Kyle Trask; I don’t believe in him.
At the end of the day, the message is the same—fire Jack Easterby.
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