As we enter the third day of the NFL Free Agency Legal Tampering period, with actual free agency beginning today at 4pm EST, your Houston Texans are no closer to solving the riddle of Deshaun Watson.
In fact, yesterday’s deal with quarterback Tyrod Taylor, sends a message Houston is preparing to roll in 2021 without DW4 under center. No worries, they have ALL the linebackers... surely one of them can magically avoid a sack to defeat the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs?
Ok moving on.
Yesterday, long time NFL front office executive Mike Lombardi went on the Rich Eisen Show to discuss the Deshaun Watson situation. After comparing Watson to Dan Marino and Peyton Manning, Lombardi continued on to detail the realities of the situation from Houston general manager Nick Caserio’s point of view.
Good back and forth here with Lombo, who had some inside info on Watson’s wish list of teams. https://t.co/bWq1v7pMSC— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) March 17, 2021
For those suffering from TL;DR syndrome, essentially rumors from Watson’s camp are making it clear he doesn’t want to go play for the New York Jets or the Miami Dolphins, the only two teams that can put together a trade package worth Houston’s while.
Where Will Deshaun Watson Play in 2021?
For Nick Caserio, telling the world Watson will veto a deal with your preferred trade partners not only puts you in a very weak bargaining position, it dramatically devalues Watson’s worth in an outgoing trade.
For the Broncos and 49ers, knowing they wouldn’t have to compete with the Jets or Dolphins, both of whom can offer up multiple first round draft picks and at least one starting caliber quarterback in return, has to be a sigh of relief.
And, blood in the water.
What does this come down to in the end? Caserio would be a fool to entertain any trade offer where his hands are tied. If he’s bargaining from a position of strength, where he can play Miami against New York against Denver and all other comers, then trading Watson is a bitter pill he can swallow and move on. It would suck, but life goes on.
Entering trade negotiations knowing his only potential trade partners are narrowed to a pair of the other 32 teams looks an awful lot like the alleged road that sent DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals.
And, we all know how that turned out.
If what Lombardi is stating he’s heard through the rumor mill turns out to be true, we can all expect Deshaun Watson to either suck it up and report to the Texans, or sit on his couch on Sundays in 2021. He can invite Marino and Manning over to watch as Tyrod Taylor works with Tim Kelly to get Houston back to an AFC South Championship.
While highly doubtful Watson ever reads these pieces, if he does, hopefully this gives him pause.
Do You Really Want Out of Houston, Deshaun?
Give Caserio a bigger pool of other teams to trade with... this is the way.
In the meantime, rest assured general managers across the league are taking note of how the Watson/Houston scenario plays out, whether they will or will not allow no trade clauses in future contracts, and how they can guard their teams against a situation like we’re watching in H-Town right now. Aside from not hiring Jack Easterby, that is...