While there is no question quarterback (QB) Deshaun Watson is worth whatever the Houston Texans are asking, I believe he will stay right where he is.
Star players generally do not like training camp or preseason games to begin with and the circumstances have afforded Watson to skip all of it, in preparation for the regular season, which is only days away.
I expect Houston to find a way to patch things up with their superstar QB and get him on the field. Going with the QB group they have now is about the surest way to get everyone fired. Houston has virtually no chance of competing this season, and maybe longer, without Watson.
It is Watson’s town and the opportunity is there for him to find redemption.
With all due respect to those involved and the sensitivity of the allegations, my feeling is if the league has not suspended him by now, and proof of the allegations has not surfaced by now, neither will likely happen at this point.
That leaves the door wide open for Watson to return to play for Houston this season and just in terms of Texans’ ticket sales and television revenue alone, the chances are strong that he will play there.
I am not saying that is right or wrong – – I am just saying that is the reality of the situation.
I personally love Watson on the field as a football player and love is a very strong word. Not many players in this league excite me. However, after extensively evaluating him in 2019, I believe he is the most dynamic player in the National Football League. For my money, I like him more than Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. Granted, Mahomes plays on a dramatically more talented roster, just in terms of QB vs. QB, I would take Watson.
There is also a growing sense that Texans’ general manager (GM) Nick Caserio respects his former boss, Bill Belichick, way too much to trade Watson to the AFC East where the Patriots play.
At this point it is also probably too late for Watson to be installed with another new team and playbook given the season is about to start. I mean if anyone could do it, Watson could and he would undoubtedly make Washington Super Bowl contenders with that defense, but it just seems highly unlikely at this point.
That is mainly because head coach Ron Rivera and GM Martin Mayhew are Joe Gibbs’ guys and Gibbs won three Super Bowls over a decade with only three total first round picks during that entire time. In the last 40 years, Washington has not made a blockbuster trade outside of sending two number one picks to Chicago back in 1988 for linebacker Wilber Marshall.
Miami head coach Brian Flores is also a Belichick guy and he probably will not do what Belichick does not want him to do either. Dolphins’ GM Chris Grier additionally started as an intern in New England back in 1994 back when Bill Parcells was the head coach there and Parcells hired Belichick. These guys know how it works and trading the guy who led the league in passing yards into Belichick’s division is not going to work.
That only leaves Denver. However, GM George Paton’s roots are in Minnesota and the Vikings are one of the most conservative teams in the league when it comes to making blockbuster trades. The last one was in 1989 for running back Herschel Walker and that blew up in Minnesota’s face and propelled Dallas to winning multiple Super Bowls. Paton comes from an organization that strongly believes in building through the draft and it is unlikely he would get out of character for Watson.
If Houston ends up with the number one pick and somehow they dealt Watson, it will likely be Oklahoma State QB Spencer Rattler, and while I like Rattler a lot, Rattler is not Deshaun Watson.
The trade just does not make sense for anyone involved. Watson gives Houston their best chance to win and Watson needs to put everything behind him. Plus, I drafted him on my fantasy team.
Watson will stay in Houston until 2023 and possibly much longer.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.