Would Deshaun Watson retire rather than play in Houston?
Not very likely, but what are the options out there for the former Clemson quarterback who has made it clear that he wants out of Houston.
It seems that he seriously wants out and it’s hard to blame him after what the team has been turned into even before former head coach Bill O’Brien was fired.
The 2017 first round pick by the Texans just received a huge contract extension last year. The contract has a no-trade clause in it, meaning he can veto any trade proposal the team presents to him if he does not like it. They can’t just ship him off anywhere and get a huge number of draft picks they want in return.
Likewise, the Texans technically don’t have to trade Watson. They can keep him under contract and tell him to make it work with new general manager Nick Caserio and new coach David Culley.
So what are Watson’s options if the Texans don’t give in to his trade demands? Keep in mind that he has, to this point, been a guy who doesn’t play games or make idle threats so if he’s done with the Texans and determined to get out, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he stays away from the offseason program. He has already removed any and all mentions of the Texans from his social media accounts.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, if Watson doesn’t show up to mandatory minicamp, presuming the NFL allows the offseason program to happen, he could be fined $95,877. Missing organized team activities is no problem as those workouts are considered voluntary.
If Watson holds out through training camp though, they can fine him $50,000 per day, of each day of training camp missed, along with one-week salary for each preseason game missed. Watson’s one-week salary is $620,000.
Another option would be retirement. No, this is not an option that many would take seriously and it would be even more shocking than Barry Sanders retirement back in 1999. But if the 25 year old was to decide that he has had enough and this is the route he wants to take, the Texans would have the right to collect $21.6 million from Watson. Also keep in mind that him retiring would not get him out of his obligation to Houston. In other words, if he were to decide to un-retire, he would return right back to the Texans.
There’s also an option where Houston decides they’ve had enough also and wants to move forward without a quarterback that doesn’t want to be there. That brings up another question. Which team has the best chance to win if he is plugged into their system and would he want to go there?
Miami has been talked about and there he would be reunited with former teammate Christian Wilkins but is that somewhere that he could go and win? Some feel that he could and that he would be the best QB Miami has had since Dan Marino. He’s a legit signal-caller who has a cannon for an arm, is capable of running the ball when needed, has a great field of vision, and elite level accuracy.
Then you have the Carolina Panthers. This trade would be a bombshell move for them and one that could get them back into playoff contention at the earliest possible opportunity. Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer stated they will be in on every deal in a bid to get the team back to a level that is competitive enough to enter the postseason discussion and the NFL Network‘s Ian Rappaport has even stated that Carolina is going to be aggressive in their attempts to get Watson.
Then last, there are the New York Jets that have been reported to be interested in trading for Watson. The Jets have a developing situation at quarterback and a surplus of draft capital that would almost certainly be expendable in what would be a blockbuster deal that very well could turn their franchise around and Watson actually seems to have interest in playing there.
What just a year ago seemed like a playoff match made in heaven between Watson and Houston has turned into exactly the opposite and looks to be headed towards a nasty divorce. Unless the two sides can find some type of common ground, which seems unlikely. As of today, Watson reportedly has not met with the new GM or new head coach and a lot could change after that happens.
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