Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio will not honor quarterback Deshaun Watson’s trade request. Caserio said Friday the team has “zero interest” in dealing Watson, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Caserio, who was hired in January, said the Texans have a “great plan and vision” for Watson.
#Texans GM Nick Caserio: “I just want to reiteraten our commitment to Deshaun Watson. … We have zero interest in trading the player. We have a great plan and vision for him. We look forward to spending more time with him."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 29, 2021
David Culley, Houston’s new head coach, echoed that sentiment, saying he took the Texans job because he knew Watson would be the team’s quarterback.
New Texans head coach David Culley on Deshaun Watson: "He is a Houston Texan. I want him to be a Houston Texan. The reason I'm in this position today is because I know he's going to be a Houston Texan."
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 29, 2021
Deshaun Watson reportedly asked Texans for trade
Caserio and Culley’s comments come a day after a report emerged suggesting Watson asked the team for a trade a few weeks ago. Watson, 25, reportedly grew frustrated with the Texans after they traded away star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last offseason. Despite that, Watson signed a four-year, $156 million extension in September.
While Watson put up excellent numbers, the Texans struggled in 2020, going 4-12. During the season, the team decided to start over, firing head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien. Watson hoped to be part of the search for a new general manager and head coach, but wasn’t consulted on the matter, further angering the star quarterback.
Who will win: Deshaun Watson or the Texans?
Watson is under contract with the Texans, so the team doesn’t have to trade him. He could attempt to force the issue by not showing up to offseason workouts or being combative with the organization. That strategy worked well for the NBA’s James Harden, who forced a trade from the Houston Rockets. It’s unclear whether Watson would do the same thing.
If the Texans want to keep Watson around, convincing him the team actually has a plan could do wonders. Caserio and Culley shouldn’t be judged on O’Brien’s decisions. It’s possible they — like Watson — disagreed with the decision to trade Hopkins. If they all sat down, perhaps the group could find common ground.
In order for that to happen, Watson would need to speak with Caserio. The fact that the two haven’t spoken yet isn’t an encouraging sign that this saga is going to be solved amicably.
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