As we enter the third day of the NFL Free Agency Legal Manipulation Period and the actual free agency begins today at 4 p.m. EST, your Houston Texans have come no closer to solving the Deshaun Watson puzzle.
In fact, yesterday’s deal with quarterback Tyrod Taylor sends a message preparing Houston to roll in the center without DW4 in 2021. Don’t worry, they ALL have linebackers … surely one of them can magically avoid a sack to beat the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs?
Ok go ahead
Yesterday Mike Lombardi, longtime NFL front office manager, was on the Rich Eisen Show to discuss Deshaun Watson’s situation. After comparing Watson to Dan Marino and Peyton Manning, Lombardi went further into the reality of the situation from the perspective of Nick Caserio, Houston general manager.
For those who are at TL; Suffering from DR syndrome, rumors from Watson’s camp make it clear that he doesn’t want to play for the New York Jets or the Miami Dolphins, the only two teams who can put together a trading package that is worthwhile for Houston.
Where will Deshaun Watson play in 2021?
Instead, Watson wants to be at the center of the Denver Broncos or the San Francisco 49ers – and no one else.
When Nick Caserio tells the world that Watson is vetoing a deal with your preferred trading partners, not only are you in a very weak negotiating position, but Watson’s worth in an outbound trade is dramatically devalued.
It must be a sigh of relief for the Broncos and 49ers to know they don’t have to compete with the Jets or Dolphins, who can both offer multiple first-round draft picks and at least one starting quarterback.
And blood in the water.
What does it come down to in the end? Caserio would be a fool if he made a deal that would have his hands tied. If he’s bargaining from a position of strength where he can play Miami versus New York versus Denver and everyone else, then trading with Watson is a bitter pill to swallow and move on. It would suck, but life goes on.
Starting trade negotiations knowing that his only potential trading partners are limited to a pair of the other 32 teams is very much like the alleged road DeAndre Hopkins sent to the Cardinals of Arizona.
And we all know how that turned out.
If what Lombardi heard through the rumor mill turns out to be true, we can all expect Deshaun Watson to either soak it up and report to the Texans or sit on his couch on Sundays in 2021. He Can Invite Marino and Manning Tyrod Taylor works with Tim Kelly to bring Houston back to an AFC South Championship.
While Watson reads these pieces highly dubiously, hopefully he will give him a break if he does.
Do you really want to get out of Houston, Deshaun?
Give Caserio a bigger pool of other teams to trade with … that’s the way.
In the meantime, rest assured that general managers across the league are taking note of how the Watson / Houston scenario is playing out, whether or not they won’t allow trade clauses in future contracts, and how they’re protecting their teams from a situation like us I’m watching in H-Town. Aside from the fact that Jack Easterby wasn’t hired, this is …