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BRB GroupThink: Who Will Be The Texans’ Starting QB In 2021?

Quarterback options for the Texans once they trade Deshaun Watson.

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

It looks like Deshaun Watson has played his final snap in Houston. His career here is over. He’ll either be traded before the 2021 NFL Draft or in 2022 sometime. Houston will have to play someone else at quarterback in 2021.

Who do you think will be the Texans’ primary starting quarterback in 2021 and why? This is the question I asked the masthead. These are their responses:


There are two ways to go about this. Who do you want to be the Texans quarterback in 2021? Who do you think will be the Texans quarterback in 2021?

Whoever you want to be the Texans quarterback in 2021 says a lot about you. If it’s Andy Dalton, it probably means you are a fighting Katy Tiger. If it’s Case KEEEEEENUUUUUUUM, it means you went to the UH and had a great meth connection back in 2013. If it’s Tua Tagovailoa, it means you are rational and think Houston will build around a hybrid theory of draft capital and a young quarterback. If it’s Alex Smith, you have given up on life. If it’s Jacoby Brissett, mayonnaise is the only condiment in your household.

My heart wants what it wants, and there is only thing it wants. Jameis Winston as your 2021 Houston Texans starting quarterback. He’s the trinity of incredible, stupid, and absurd. Every play can end in a sack, a touchdown, or an interception. Read this article I wrote from last summer. Every snap is the opening of Pandora’s Box. Every second of every day is beautiful, precious, and perfect, so why not make the most of it?

Every sport, and football specifically, is a much more enjoyable use of your time once you get past if a team or player is good or not and start thinking about if a team or player is enjoyable or not. Winston is tremendous in both these pools. At age 27, with his talent, draft pedigree, bad eyesight, and reckless attitude, there may be a great quarterback in there somewhere. As a purveyor of deep touchdown passes, wonderful interceptions, pocket regurgitating sacks, oblivious pocket awareness, and a reckless attitude towards life, he’s one of the most fun quarterbacks in the NFL. He’ll leave us muttering, “Deshaun who?” If the Earth is going to be scorched, Jamies is the bomb you want to use.

This would be too enjoyable, though. This would be too much of a good time. The Texans don’t exist to enrich our lives (the purpose of sports from a fan’s perspective) but to ruin our lives. Nick Caserio and Jack Easterby won’t take us along a vision of grandeur and wonder. No. That would be too sinful. Instead they are going to dive into the banal.

Get ready for AJ McCarron throwing for 2,750 yards while Mark Ingram and David Johnson combine for 425 carries. We’ll see a nauseating spread passing attack slipped between a disgusting mid zone rushing attack, empty screens, and drag many drag routes. This is the hell this team deserves. We will be the ones who will be punished for it.


“Who do you think will be the Texans’ primary starting quarterback in 2021?”

A sign of how things have changed that even after the end of the disastrous 2020 season, this is not a joke question or a mental exercise to see if anyone would actually say someone other than Deshaun Watson. For the first time in the history of the franchise, you have the franchise quarterback, you sign him to a great deal...and you just as quickly alienate him to such a degree that he wants out and will probably play serious hardball to get what he wants. This was all so needless, so unnecessary...and so par for the course for the McEasterby Texans.

So we once again have to play the game of “Who will be the starting quarterback for the Texans?”. While the front office seems content to settle in and not trade Watson right now, there is a chance they get the offer they can’t refuse, which could open the door to directly picking or trading up to get the QB they want. Maybe they get a prospect like Justin Fields.

However, let us say that the battle of attrition continues past the 2021 NFL Draft and the team and Watson continue the standoff. I don’t see the team re-signing AJ McCarron, so if nothing else, the team will need a back-up/starting QB. Given the budget constraints the team will be operating under, the options are not exactly exciting. You could have a reunion with Ryan Fitzpatrick, or perhaps a reunion with a former Patriot QB (Brissett and/or Brian Hoye...Hoye...Hoyer (had trouble writing that one)) could be in play.

Yet I think the most intriguing and perhaps a logical option could be Alex Smith. He is coming off a well-deserved NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award, and there would be some sort of symmetry where he plays for the team that (accidentally) derailed his career. He has a history with Head Coach David Culley from their time in Kansas City. Also, he will probably not command starter-level money on the free agent market and would help in the goodwill department for the team (something they badly need).

Now, would Smith jump from one poorly managed team with a douche-baggian owner to the Fightin’ McEasterbys? Depends on what the market looks like. It could be a good coda to his winding career to help out one of the most hopeless teams in the league. Still, with little to no chance of patching up the relationship with Watson, a guy like Smith taking snaps would not be the worst thing on this team (and that is saying something).


Too soon.


According to, one familiar face to Texans fans is a prime candidate to lineup under center next year.

Case Keenum is listed as one of the “11 Players Who LOVE Jesus (and football)”. That’s the title of the article, I swear. We all know that we need someone to market the new Texans identity, and the only technically available QB from that list is Philip Rivers.

Keenum is on record as saying, “ I’m not a football player that happens to be a Christian... I’m a Christian who happens to be a football player. Faith doesn’t leave when I hang up my cleats and put on my street clothes”.

Someone check Jack Easterby’s slacks, because they have been absolutely drenched. Case would appeal to Houstonians because of his UH connection. We’re all already used to seeing his 20-yard sacks, so it wouldn’t be too offensive. Cleveland, watch out. Jack and Nick are going to give you an offer you can’t refuse.

In reality, we’ll likely see Zach Wilson or Justin Fields under center as the crown jewel from a Deshaun trade. However, that just doesn’t fit the team’s new identity quite well enough.


I’m with Rivers. Too soon to make any sort of vaguely accurate guess. I could see a lot of things happening, from riding with AJ McCarron, to bringing in Jimmy Garoppolo or Alex Smith, to using the Watson trade draft capital to land Justin Fields or another rookie. My gut has long felt ultimately Houston trades with Miami and Tua comes to town, but my gut also felt Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins would never leave.

Probably best to table this conversation for another week and see how the initial round of free agency reshapes the landscape of the NFL.


Dammit, I was kidding about Case Keenum during the Megacast. I didn’t mean it, universe.


This is a tricky one. If the Texans are legit going to rebuild, there’s no sense having a fun 2021 tear-down with Ryan Fitzpatrick, because he’s sure to win a couple of games— that’s just what he does. Since this is a question of “who WILL it be” and not “who do you WANT it to be” I feel like a very Texans thing to do would be to completely botch the Watson trade and draft “the wrong” rookie. Or at least one that feels like the “wrong one” Mac Jones or Trey Lance.

I also could see it being Tua, as Miami seems to be a consensus preferred destination for Deshaun, though we haven’t heard it from “The Player” himself. You know what? Forget you read all of this—the answer is AJ McCarron. Let’s burn this thing to the ground, gather the ashes, and burn the ashes. Let’s collect the floating embers and incinerate those as well.

Who do you think is the Texans’ starting quarterback this season?