FALCON POINTS

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.

Ripple effects

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?

Emerging star

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.

Uncertain future

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...

If you need to be cheered up in these trying times and want something to read, please email me at faour975@gmail.com and I will send you a collection of short stories. Asking for a minimum $10 donation to help Gow employees who are struggling. If we do well enough we will expand the reach. If you can't donate and just want something to read, I will send it free of charge. There are two gambling related stories, two vampire tales and another weird one. All are fiction.

I hope everyone stays safe.

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Watt shocked fans with a surprise Twitter announcement. Composite image by Jack Brame.

We're not sure when Houston will erect its own Mt. Rushmore for sports legends, but we're quite certain that J.J. Watt, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, December 27, and his chiseled countenance will one day jut from the rocky sculpture.

A no-brainer for the NFL Hall of Fame and arguably the greatest player to ever don a Houston Texans uniform (the other being the quiet great Andre Johnson), Watt broke the news on social media, where he posted heartwarming photos of he, wife Kealia, son Koa, and his family.

He stunned the football world — and fans — with this simple message and those family photos taken after his current team the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Koa’s first ever NFL game. My last ever NFL home game. My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure.

For many in Houston, it's still a bit surreal to see Justin James Watt — the NFL superstar drafted in the first round in 2011 by the Texans — in Arizona. (A pick that put this publication on the national map for all the wrong reasons with an embarrassing hot take).

After an understandable but still bittersweet release in February 2021, Watt made headlines by signing with the Cardinals, a move many applauded, given the Texans' downward trajectory.

Renowned for his relentless motor, Navy SEAL-type work ethic, team-first approach, and straight-up bulldozing and game wrecking, Watt quickly became a one-man nightmare for opposing coaches and players. Even Hollywood jumped on the WattWagon, with Arnold Schwarzenegger calling Watt a future action star and offering some motivation after a big playoff loss.

His Pick 6 play during the Texans' first-ever playoff game, where he batted down a pass from Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and rumbled in for a touchdown, not only served as a terrifying calling card for the rookie, but would later inspire one his many nicknames: "J.J. Swat."

He would soon become one of only three players in NFL history to win at least three AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Awards, in 2012, 2014, and 2015. In 2014, he made such a splash that he came in second overall for NFL MVP, a rare feat for even the best defensive players.

His stats are nothing short of Hall of Fame-ready. He leads the NFL in tackles for loss (172), quarterback hits (281), multi-sack games (26) and sack yards (713.5), while ranking second in sacks (101.0). In 2020, Watt, who led the NFL in sacks twice (2012 and 2015), became the fourth-fastest player in NFL history to total 100.0 sacks, doing so in just his 120th career game, per team stats.

As the NFL Network notes, Watt will retire as only of three players in NFL history to win Defensive Player of the Year three times. Add to that his five first-team All-Pro honors, five Pro Bowl trips, and his status as a two-time NFL sack leader (his 74.5 sacks over that span of time are the second-most since 1982.)

But for all his numbers, perhaps the most significant for No. 99 is $41.6 million: the amount he raised in 2017 for Hurricane Harvey relief — the largest crowd-sourced fundraiser in history. What started as a simple ask for help after the storm became a runaway, feel-good charitable moment across the country — a testament to Watt's superstar power and his ability to influence the public and raise awareness.

One part single-man football army, one part Captain America, Watt evolved into the epitome of the athlete doing it right — on the field and off (even his "Dream Big. Work Hard." Twitter bio is a simple lesson for young athletes everywhere), deftly navigating the intersection of sports and pop culture. Flashing his boyish grin and monstrous biceps, he was a natural fixture on local and national TV commercials, and a viral sensation with ominous warnings to opponents, like this scary "ya mess with me..." declaration in 2014.

Not since Earl Campbell has Houston seen an NFL player put his team and city on his broad shoulders. At six-foot-four and 280 pounds, Watt is a literal and figurative Houston giant, one who cemented all-time hero status with deeds over words, giving over taking, and always being gracious to those across the world who adored him.

The 33-year-old husband, father, and sports powerhouse may be calling it a career in Arizona, but he'll always be a Houstonian — and one of the greatest pro athletes to ever call the city home. Here's hoping if baby Koa Watt elects a career in pro football, he gets a call from Houston on draft night.

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