The Texans and Deshaun Watson have paved a long road to hell since last year. Bill O’Brien’s terrible offseason decisions led to a 4-12 roster. Cal McNair reneged on his promises, leading to Watson asking for a trade request. Jack Easterby further entrenched himself into the organizational structure and ensured his status by influencing the Nick Caserio hiring once again. Watson was accused of sexual assault allegations and is headed for civil court. The David Culley hiring signaled an upcoming rebuild. The current offseason decisions were baffling for a rebuilding team.
And now, on the precipice of training of camp, Deshaun Watson is expected to report to camp with the other Houston quarterbacks—Davis Mills, Tyrod Taylor, and Jeff Driskel.
Quarterbacks are reporting today in Houston, and #Texans QB Deshaun Watson is expected to be among them, source said. He’s showing up for testing to begin entry into training camp. However, Watson’s stance about the organization and desire to be traded remains unchanged.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 25, 2021
This is shocking. Everyone expected for Watson to voluntarily sit out training camp and much, if not all, of the upcoming season. If he wasn’t suspended or placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, that is. Houston can’t trade Watson until next offseason—to ensure they know how much and what draft capital they would receive in a trade. Watson has his own legal issues going on; if the league does or doesn’t suspend him, those problems need to be worked out as well. This would result in a lost season for both Houston and Watson as we fast forward to 2022. Yet here we are and Watson is headed to training camp.
This may very well just be something to protect Watson’s checkbook for now. After all, Watson would be fined 50K for every day he misses.
Watson would've faced mandatory $50,000 fines for every day he missed. So, he saves himself money without backing off his stance that he wants out of Houston. https://t.co/sZjyyCLhyM— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 25, 2021
That being said, if Watson is worried about losing 50K each day, that money doesn’t even compare to the game checks he’d miss. There isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a world where Houston trades Watson this season. If the QB is freaked out over losing 50K, it may lead to Watson actually playing for the Houston Texans this season.
If we learned anything last year, we learned that Watson is a top five player who can carry a decrepit roster on his own. With Watson, and a better one possession record, the Texans aren’t 1-16 in 2021; they are an interesting—-but likely still bad—team.
Who knows what this may lead to? Watson showing up for camp is a curve ball and opens the door to a wide variety of possibilities we thought we would never see again this past February. For now, Watson is in the building at NRG Park, and that’s something we never thought we’d hear again.