Texans have need, motivation to trade Deshaun Watson now
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson warms up beforean NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

After a recent trend of saying less when it comes to embattle quarterback Deshaun Watson, Texans first-year general manager Nick Caserio this week made his most extensive comments about his quarterback in months.

Caserio appeared on a segment of the “Payne and Pendergast” show on Sports Radio 610 and when he was asked if the team had discussed with its players how to answer questions about Watson or what the situation is, Caserio opened up more than he ever has about Watson.

“We’re taking it one day at a time and really control the things we can control,” Caserio said during the show. “The players have been focused on their attitude and their approach in the building, and they’ve handled everything very well.” 

Nick Caserio

The Texans’ franchise quarterback has been estranged from the team much of the offseason. Watson demanded a trade when team president Cal McNair went back on his word to give him input into the hiring of the Texans’ new coach and general manager.

Watson’s situation, of course, grew more precarious when he was accused by nearly two dozen massage therapists in Houston and around the country of sexual misconduct. He is now facing 22 civil lawsuits and possible criminal action.

The latest development has put Watson’s status with the team in even more uncertainty. Depending on how the civil and criminal actions turn out, Watson could face jail time and a suspension by the NFL, which makes trading him somewhat tricky because his trade value is in limbo.

The Texans have said nothing about the status of Watson, who has skipped the entire offseason program, and neither has the NFL, which can suspend Watson with pay (he is due $10 million this season) until his legal actions are resolved. Watson also has signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension that is due to kick in in 2022.

The Texans’ new regime has clearly begun the process of moving on from Watson with the additions of free agents Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Driskel along with drafting Davis Mills with their third-round pick (the team’s first selection in the 2021 NFL Draft). But for weeks, head coach David Culley and his staff have deflected questions about Watson as has Caserio until this week.

But after his initial remarks, Caserio had little else to offer about what direction the team might go with Watson.

“I don’t have any additional comments about anything,” Caserio said. “I think we’re respectful of what’s happening, respectful of the process and everybody that’s involved. The most important thing is for all of us, the coaches and players and myself included, is to focus on the things we can control. As we get more information, as we get closer to training camp, we’ll try to make the best decision for the Houston Texans, whatever that entails.”