Here's why the Texans have another huge decision to make concerning JJ Watt
The Texans' season is just about in the toilet. At 2-6, they have about as good a chance to make the playoffs as I have making Joy Taylor my next ex. Impossible? No, not at all. Likelihood of it happening? I'll probably get struck by lightening first. With that being said, recent reports that claim to have well-placed sources suggest J.J. Watt will be traded in the upcoming offseason. If we're to take some of his comments in recent pressers seriously, Watt seems like he has one foot out the door. So why wasn't he traded before the deadline this season? This season is a wash anyway. They don't own their first or second round picks in the upcoming draft to benefit from such a poor season. Why not move one of your best assets for more draft capital?
Those are questions for Cal McNair. He still has faith in this team's chances of making the playoffs. I have faith he'd fail a drug test because of his belief in them making the playoffs, but that's not why we're here. If Cal still thinks they'll make the playoffs, what will change once they're officially eliminated from playoff contention? Will they give younger guys deeper down the depth chart some playing time to see what they have in them moving forward? Will they hold veteran players back and sit them to keep them healthy? More specifically: will Watt continue to play his normal playing time, or will they sit him to ensure he's not injured when they trade him? Let's take a deeper dive into why this is/isn't a good idea.
Why they shouldn't sit Watt
The Texans shouldn't sit Watt for a number of reasons. For one, they're still paying him. Why pay someone to sit on their butt and not produce? If things calm down more and the capacity grows in stadiums, wouldn't having one of your best players on the field be more financially beneficial? Not only that, but showcasing his talent and that he's healthy would only add to his trade value. I don't see why you'd lose. The most you're going to get for him would be a second or third rounder at the back end of either round. Acquiring more picks helps you flesh out an already talent-deficient roster. Playing him and him playing at a high level could add to his value.
Why they should sit Watt
Given Watt's injury history, the obvious thing to do is to sit him once they're eliminated from playoff contention. Teams who'd trade for him know who he is and what he's capable of when healthy. There's no need to showcase him as if he's some new toy nobody has ever played with so you play with it to create interest. He's the tried and true toy that'll get used no matter what. Knowing that he's been hampered with injuries, you run the risk of him getting hurt, lowering or eliminating his trade value, and leaving yourself in a position where you have to keep him or release him and get nothing. The decision is obvious: sit Watt and trade him to the highest bidder.
There are two schools of thought on most subjects. One group will feel the glass is half full, while the other will look at it as half empty. Either way, you have your opinion and others will have theirs. I'm in the camp of preserving your assets. I'd sit Watt and/or play him sparingly if the Texans are eliminated from playoff contention. They don't have to outright bench him. They could just pull back his playing time and use him as a situational pass rusher. They already passed on the opportunity to hold a contender over the coals at the trade deadline, they can't afford to mess this up again. Trade him to a title contender of his choosing and end the relationship on good terms. That way he'll always be grateful to the organization. Hell, they can still make a statue of him and unveil it when they retire his jersey and induct him into their ring of honor. Do right by the man. He deserves it.