NFL reviewing sex assault claims against Texans QB Watson
In this Dec. 27, 2020, file photo, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File)

Another week has passed and the Texans situation has become even more problematic.

Well, yes the Texans and general manager Nick Caserio are still searching for David Culley’s replacement. But finding a coach is far from the Texans most pressing concern.

The most damning cloud hovering over the Texans remains their Deshaun Watson issue. The one-time franchise quarterback, the all-around golden child, still wants to be traded a year later and Caserio is still trying to play like he has all of the leverage.

But Caserio doesn’t. His control in this situation has been slipping since the Texans allowed November’s NFL trade deadline to slide by without making the deal for Watson so sweet the Dolphins couldn’t resist.

Caserio’s grip on Watson loosens considerably as we move toward the start of the NFL’s new year, which begins March 16. And if Watson, who made $10 million last season and didn’t touch the field, is still on the roster come the NFL Draft, Caserio will have to unload Watson for pennies on the dollar at that point.

Watson has always held a great deal of control over where he plays ever since he and his agent had the foresight to add a no-trade clause to his new four-year, $156 million deal that he signed with the Texans in 2020 and that kicks in this season. His leverage hasn’t lessened even as he faces 22 lawsuits from massage therapists who are alleging sexual misconduct on the part of Watson.

Either trade Watson or be on the hook to pay his new salary of $35 million that is fully guaranteed for the 2022 season.

Watson can essentially pick the team he wants to be traded to and it’s up to the Texans to work out a deal.

Miami had been the preferred destination for Watson, but an interesting plot twist during the past couple of weeks has now opened some more possible landing places for Watson, including speculation Watson could end up right here in Houston.

The tie-in being Brian Flores, who was the Dolphins head coach until he was unceremoniously fired a couple of weeks ago. Who knew Watson’s attraction to Miami the whole time was Flores and not vibrant South Beach.

Now the national pundits believe there is a Watson-Flores package floating around the NFL. Maybe the two will end up with the New York Giants together or Chicago.

The Houston angle comes in because the day after Caserio fired Culley, he brought in Flores to interview for the job. Those two go way back to their days together with the New England Patriots organization.

So maybe hire Flores and all is forgiven for Watson and we pretend the disastrous 2021 never happened? Even Caserio seems to know better. At least he expressed as much during an appearance on SportsRadio 610 last week.

“There’s been some commentary that more than likely would not be the case,” Caserio said. “I think we just have to be open-minded and just take the information and process it, then ultimately make the decision we feel makes the most sense for everybody involved, whatever that looks like.”

That would be making a deal that Watson will accept and the franchise can live much sooner rather than later.

Watson’s issue isn’t with the coach or even Caserio. His issue is his lack of trust in the McNair family, most notably CEO Cal McNair who reneged on his work last year to give Watson input into the franchise’s coach and general manager hires.