It might be happening a little later than both parties had hoped, but by all appearances the marriage between the Houston Texans and Deshaun Watson looks to be over.
The off-field issues surrounding Watson has all but dried up the demand for the for Clemson quarterback, but that doesn’t mean the Texans are planning on Watson’s return.
Prior to the draft, the Texans brought in quarterback’s Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Finley. Then used their first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on former Stanford quarterback Davis Mills and according to NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler, the writing is on the wall.
“Teams I’ve talked to around the league are taking notice that the Houston Texans seem to be slowly moving on from Deshaun Watson,” Fowler said on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “Because they have their bridge quarterback in Tyrod Taylor and they have their developmental draft pick in Davis Mills — a quarterback I’m told that they’re very high on with his instincts, his smarts and his big arm.”
Numerous teams reportedly had interest in acquiring Watson prior to the allegations against him surfacing and the Texans were reportedly looking to start a bidding war for the services of the quarterback. Now, no one knows when Watson will even be eligible to play again.
“And so, a couple months ago, the Texans were turning down everybody who was calling about Deshaun Watson,” Fowler said. “Carolina was willing to give them the world. They said, ‘No.’ They’ve been far less committal recently. They don’t know when Watson is even going to be cleared to play. The league will consider putting Watson on the commissioner’s exempt list later this summer if his case is still going on.”
Not only are the Texans losing a franchise quarterback, now they won’t get anything close to what they might have gotten before the allegations were made public.
“I heard a story this week that Carolina was so all in on Deshaun Watson a few months ago before the sexual assault allegations that they made clear that they would give Houston whatever it wanted,” Fowler said. “If it’s three first-round picks plus some star players, they were willing to do it.”