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Deshaun Watson’s Training Camp Behavior Hurting His Trade Value

GMs are paying attention, and they can’t like what they see.

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney once compared former starting quarterback (both for the Tigers and the Texans) Deshaun Watson to the great Michael Jordan after eleven teams passed on him in the 2017 NFL Draft. After four impressive seasons in the NFL, Watson didn’t tarnish that comparison. But through this offseason and now into this preseason, Watson’s “participation” in the Houston Texans training camp has buried any comparison to the greatness and competitiveness that Jordan displayed throughout his career. MJ was known for competing at every little thing in life... and Watson’s actions and demonstrations at training camp show how discontent and disillusioned with himself and his football career he’s become.

This isn’t how greatness behaves. Champions don’t waltz around the practice field, play other people’s positions, and turn their own training camp into a circus.

The Texans want a champion. They thought they had one in Watson. Apparently, not so much. Now, the question isn’t if the Texans thought they had one, but are other teams willing to trade for him and think that he still is a champion?

There are several hundred athletes waiting for a team to give them a call up for training camp. These players are actually so desperate they are hoping other players get injured to open up a roster spot for them. Watson occupying one of these spots to aimlessly stand on the training camp field is quite possibly the most vain and impartial act in Texas sports history. Watson isn’t helping the offense get better by playing on defense. He isn’t helping the defense get better by just standing there. He isn’t helping the coaches evaluate talent. Here’s merely helping his own bank account. Deshaun Watson isn’t helping the Texans and never will again.

Watson’s message is clear: he has no intention of ever playing with the Houston Texans again. But what is not as clear are his career intentions and desire to even play football. His time with the Texans needs to be over. The only way he can actually help the Texans anymore is by being traded as a commodity for the bits and pieces of his reputation that he has left.

It’s rare seeing a player have such a circus surrounding them as much as Watson has had in 2021. This offseason carousel and frankly, clown show, at Texans training camp cannot impress front offices around the league. Recency biases and risk averse organizations will be less than remiss to avoid bringing a potential on and off the field calamity

If Watson thinks he can go from not practicing to leading the league in passing yards again… he’s sorely mistaken. He didn’t lead the league in passing yards last year by playing safety in training camp. He didn’t throw 33 touchdowns over 16 games by participating at the minimal acceptable amount.

This is about the person and his intentions as an athlete. If Watson is willing to conduct himself in this behavior on the Texans, general managers have a multitude of questions to ask themselves. Do they think he’ll bring a different attitude to their organization? Is this the person we want running our franchise? Am I willing to bet my team’s future and my own job security on this player?

Last we heard from NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, four teams were still interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. Those teams are the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins. All four of those teams have starting quarterbacks under the age of 24, each one of them being either a first or second round pick. It would be a lot safer to invest in the young and promising talent in your locker room that isn’t facing criminal charges and has been practicing all offseason than another quarterback who hasn’t. Sure, Watson can lead just about any team to the playoffs and beyond. But just like what he’s doing with the Texans, Watson could also set anyone of those franchises back multiple seasons. The combination of the lost draft picks to acquire Watson and the time wasted if he is suspended would damage the reputation, locker room, and win column of the team who decides to trade for him.

A player who once donated his game checks to Houston Texans staff, a benefactor in the community, a leader on the field and a [KITTEN] good one when he takes the field too. There’s a star somewhere in the player that used to wear the number 4 jersey in Battle Red. The same one that I bought a year ago for myself before all this news broke out. That star may be gone or may be burn out by his own flame. It’s up to front offices and general managers to decide if they can find the flame that once lit up the NFL.

There are several hundred athletes waiting for a team to give them a call up for training camp. These players are actually so desperate they are hoping other players get injured to open up a roster spot for them. Watson occupying one of these spots to aimlessly stand on the training camp field is quite possibly the most vain and impartial act in Texas sports history. Watson isn’t helping the offense get better by playing on defense. He isn’t helping the defense get better by just standing there. He isn’t helping the coaches evaluate talent. Here’s merely helping his own bank account. Deshaun Watson isn’t helping the Texans and never will again.