Are the Texans close to trading QB Deshaun Watson?

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Mark Lane
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Just as mass movements of animals portend earthquakes or imminent natural disasters, reports and tweets from beat writers do the same for seismic NFL events.

It is one thing for Joe Person of The Athletic to write that the Carolina Panthers are still committed to trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Houston sports fans don’t know Joe Person from Chuck Person. Also who cares about the Panthers? If talent evaluation is a constant job, aren’t all NFL teams looking for ways to get better?

However, when John McClain, who has been covering Houston NFL football as far back as the Luv Ya Blue Oilers, tweets that he expects Watson to be traded, after previously writing that Houston fans should ignore such rumors, it is a significant shift.

The signing of Tyrod Taylor could be considered the point that the Texans signaled they were moving on from Watson. The former Baltimore Ravens 2011 sixth-round pick has earned a Pro Bowl throughout his career. He even led the Buffalo Bills to a playoff berth in 2017, the first time since 1999 they ever qualified for the postseason. Taylor also kept the seat warm for developing starters such as Baker Mayfield in 2018 with the Cleveland Browns and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020. Taylor can start 16 games for you; playoffs not guaranteed.

Of course, technically, Watson is the only rostered quarterback until 3:00 p.m. Central Time when the new league year kicks off and Taylor’s contract becomes official. After allowing A.J. McCarron’s contract to expire and releasing Josh McCown, Houston had to address the quarterback position in free agency regardless of the drama surrounding their three-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

With free agency nearly complete, the Watson trade rumors have not died down. They have been revitalized. Houston sports fans are bracing themselves for the quake and all of the sundry aftershocks thereafter.