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Speculating About The Texans’ 2021 Starting Quarterback

A veteran, a rookie, and Deshaun Watson walk into a bar...

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Most NFL teams struggle to find a franchise quarterback. Often for years, or even decades. Since their inception in 2002, the Houston Texans have fielded no less than eight (7) “full-time starting quarterbacks”.

  • David Carr
  • Matt Schaub
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Brian Hoyer
  • Ryan Mallett
  • Tom Savage
  • Deshaun Watson

Over the course of that run, Schaub and Watson have really been the only answers to the question: Who is Houston’s rranchise quarterback?

Now, with all the uncertainty surrounding Watson, Texans general manager Nick Caserio is facing a search for #8 – no, not Schaub — the 8th starting quarterback. The Texans currently have Watson, Tyrod Taylor, and Ryan Finley on the roster. However, there’s no guarantee any of those guys will win the QB1 gig when September rolls around. At this juncture, Caserio has a few options open to him:

The Texans Trade Deshaun Watson, Draft Quarterback of the Future.

While the trade market for Watson has certainly taken on some very muddy water lately, have no doubt that some team out there will still pay handsomely to acquire his services. All too often, despite assertions to the contrary, NFL teams will turn a blind eye to off-field issues if it means they can put wins on the board.

If you read Steph Stradley’s recent FAQ on the Watson scenario (hint: you SHOULD; it’s long but well worth the read, full of wisdom, insight and great advice.), you probably have a clear idea that this mess with Watson isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it might drag out for years. During that time, the NFL might not take any action against Watson (if they ever do at all), which means he will continue to play. Will he keep playing in Houston? That’s anyone’s guess. However, when you look at all the evidence around Jack Easterby’s alleged Culture Civil War within the franchise, it’s a pretty good bet Easterby is pushing for Watson to find the exit ASAP.

To that end, Houston could still trade Watson and grab one of the top picks in the 2021 NFL Draft in return. The New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos all have top ten picks and all have, at one point or another, seen their team linked to Watson in a trade. Should the Texans pull that trigger, Justin Fields could make a great addition to the roster.

Houston could also have a shot at BYU’s Zach Wilson.

The Texans Trade Deshaun Watson For Their Next Starting Quarterback.

If the Texans don’t get the rookie quarterback they want in a hypothetical trade-draft pick scenario, they could land their next starting QB straight from their trade partner. Signal-callers Sam Darnold (Jets), Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers), Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins), or Brett Rypien (Broncos) might package well in a Watson trade.

Darnold hasn't exactly poured nitro into the hype engines so far, but let’s face it - he’s playing for the New York Jets. Darnold has thrown for 8,097 yards, 45 touchdowns, and a 59.8 completion percentage in his three seasons in New York. Not stellar numbers, but promising enough that Houston offensive coordinator Tim Kelly might light a fire with him.

Garoppolo seems like a perfect prediction to land in Houston due to his New England Patriots roots. Then-Patriot executive Caserio helped draft Garoppolo in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. While Jimmy G has received a lot of hype over his career, he’s yet to get a team over the hump and put his name up there with the elite quarterbacks. Perhaps playing in Houston’s system might change that?

Tagovailoa appears ripe with potential. The former Alabama Crimson Tide product started nine games in his rookie season with the Dolphins. Over the course of the year, he completed 185 passes on 290 attempts for a completion percentage of 64.1. He tossed 11 touchdowns to 5 picks and was sacked 15 times. Some believe with the right coaching and system, Tua could emerge as the next NFL superstar quarterback.

Rypien, nephew of former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Mark Rypien intrigues some football minds but doesn’t seem to have done enough in Denver to impress John Elway. If brought in, Rypien would have to beat out Taylor in a QB competition, which seems unlikely.

The Houston Texans Keep Deshaun Watson.

At this juncture, with what we know of Watson’s growing number of civil lawsuits, it’s hard to believe Houston wants to keep him around. However, they may have no other choice. After all, he did put up the statistically best season of any quarterback in 2020. In believing the American way of “innocent until proven guilty”, retaining Watson’s services would provide the best road forward for the Texans’ on-field aspirations. If he is proven guilty, having him on the team, or even in the NFL, is entirely unacceptable in every possible way.

No matter what happens, the only certain thing is Nick Caserio has a lot of uncertainty to deal with at the quarterback position right now. If all else fails, Caserio could also choose to roll with Tyrod Taylor, a solid quarterback in his own right.

What do you want the Texans to do?


Who should be the Texans’ starting QB in 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    A rookie acquired in a trade.
    (197 votes)
  • 13%
    A veteran acquired in a trade.
    (72 votes)
  • 21%
    Deshaun Watson.
    (115 votes)
  • 28%
    Tyrod Taylor.
    (150 votes)
534 votes total Vote Now