If Deshaun Watson really wants out, could anyone blame him?
The fallout of the disaster that was the DeAndre Hopkins trade continues to resonate in the Texans organization. Besides universal disdain for the deal locally, the national media has vilified Bill O'Brien and the Texans as well, going so far as to call it one of the worst trades in the history of the NFL. No amount of media leaks from O'Brien's side can change the narrative. It was simply a stupid move.
Already, one free agent reportedly passed on the Texans because of O'Brien. Laremy Tunsil still has not signed an extension. Neither has Deshaun Watson. And if the Texans lose those two, the franchise is pretty much doomed. Watson in particular is the biggest problem. First, he tweeted out a cryptic Drake lyric, then liked a tweet about the Patriots calling him. There is already speculation he will be the Pats next QB.
The sounds of silence
Other than that, Watson has been quiet on the trade. There is no way he can be happy about it, nor should he. The tyrannical way in which O'Brien and Jack Easterby are running the franchise is wrong on so many levels. If Watson wants out, could anyone blame him?
Watson is a rarity in the NFL; a young, emerging star quarterback with tons of upside. Imagine what he could do with a real offensive mind? All O'Brien has done is fail to protect him with a patchwork offensive line, trade away an elite, No. 1 WR target for nothing and burden him with predictable play calling and now another inexperienced O'Brien "guy"as an OC.
Not to mention the small fortune in draft picks he has traded away, making it even more difficult to build around Watson.
Even by fixing the offensive line, O'Brien could easily make things worse by not-resigning Tunsil.
Playing hard ball
If the Texans want to be tough on Watson, they could let him play out next year on his rookie deal, then franchise him, assuming the tag is still in play. But if Watson has no interest in being here anymore, that will just make a tattered relationship even worse. He could easily demand a trade, which the Texans would not have to do. But it should never get to that point.
It should not have gotten this far.
Watson is 24 years old with perhaps another 10 years ahead of him. Why would he want to spend it in an organization that has zero clue about how to use him? Giving O'Brien GM power is destroying the fabric of the organization. At some point, Cal McNair has to step in and stop this. If not, the money-motivated Texans may finally find out what it is like when people don't fill a stadium. The Hopkins trade has likely chased away a lot of loyal fans already, and who knows what the economy is going to look like when this mess is over? Empty seats and suites could be common. If fans do not want to be a part of this, why would Watson? By all indications, he likes the city and fans. But anyone who has been in an untenable work environment can relate. Many of us have left jobs for that very reason.
I truly feel for Texans fans, who have supported this franchise from the beginning. Now they are watching what should have been a Super Bowl contender dismantled, all to satisfy the ego of a man not qualified for the job he has been given. Many will continue to support the team no matter what, but at some point, even the most hardcore fan will get fed up.
In the real NFL world outside of Kirby, coaches can be replaced. Franchise quarterbacks can't. Someone other than O'Brien needs to step in right now and fix this. And the only person who can is McNair. If he doesn't and Watson is the one to eventually leave?
There will certainly be empty seats and suites. And then maybe he will take notice. Of course then it will be too late.
And sadly, maybe it already is.
By the way...
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