TRADE DEADLINE

All the reasons the Texans should take the trade and run

The Texans should move on from Deshaun Watson. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

On Sept. 4, 1972, robbers dropped through a skylight at the Montreal Museum of Art – like a real-life Hollywood movie – tied up three guards and stole a rare Rembrandt painting worth millions of dollars.

Not Deshaun Watson millions … but still a fortune. The painting has never been recovered. It's up in the air whether Watson's NFL career can ever be recovered.

I wonder, when thieves steal a valuable painting, what next? I'm guessing the art thieves didn't take the painting for the walls of their luxury country estate appointed with rich Corinthian leather. The thieves need to find a buyer, who'll pay pennies on Rembrandt's dollars to take the painting off their hands. Then the new owner must keep the painting under wraps, it's stolen property. It's not like the owner can flip the painting like Chip and Joanna Gaines or use it to impress guests at a dinner party. The Rembrandt has been rendered worthless to everybody except its secret owner.

The Rembrandt is Deshaun Watson, on paper worth $156 million, but really worthless, at least this season. The owner is Cal McNair. Fans and the media used to ask, how come Hillbilly Cal rarely speaks publicly? Now we know – he's a boob who most recently had to apologize for dropping a racist comment at a fun golf event.

The Texans' reported asking price for Watson is three first-round draft picks plus other assets. Here's what the Texans' asking price should be:

Three first-round draft picks plus other assets … or best offer.

The Texans need to get Watson off their books and out of Houston by 3 p.m. today – the NFL's trade deadline. Watson's legal problems are well documented: 22 civil suits and 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual misconduct. Following the Watson case is like binge watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

The civil suits could go away with the stroke of a pen on some heavy money orders. The criminal complaints are another story. If a grand jury indicts Watson and he stands trial, while unlikely, Watson might be pre-occupied for several years. He could become a registered sex offender with his home address made public on the Internet. That's what you call a hard sell.

Having Rusty Hardin as Watson's lawyer isn't the guaranteed win or stay out of jail card it once was. Last week, Hardin was in court defending a client accused of negligence, gross negligence and vicarious liability in a case involving an injured worker at Bush-Intercontinental Airport. The jury found Harden's client guilty and the client was ordered to pay $352 million in damages.

You can get two Deshaun Watsons and a kicker for that kind of money.

The Texans were rumored to have a deal nearly in place to trade Watson to the Miami Dolphins last week. But the Texans reportedly upped their asking price at the last minute, believing that Watson's civil suits might be settled soon. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross reportedly wants Watson's legal problems gone before finalizing a trade.

Here's what the Dolphins' hometown newspaper, the Miami Herald, had to say about a possible trade for Watson:

"The Miami Dolphins need a lesson in denouncing bad behavior more than they need Deshaun Watson." That's not exactly the Welcome Wagon for Watson.

If the Texans can find a team willing to roll the dice on Watson they should take the trade and run. Watson is cryptocurrency, his value could increase next off-season, but it also could go down the toilet.

Does Texans management even realize this team is a flat out embarrassment to Houston? Talk show callers hate owner McNair and despise his puppet master Jack Easterby. First year coach David Culley has that Tom Coughlin befuddled look on the sidelines, making questionable, and since they're losing, dumb calls. He is the Bizarro version of Bum Phillips' famous quote about Bear Bryant: Culley can take his'n and lose to your'n, and then he can turn around and take you'n and lose to his'n.

The Texans have lost seven straight games and their fans have plain stopped caring. NRG Stadium looked like a ghost town last Sunday with the Texans hosting an attractive opponent, the Los Angeles Rams. Season ticket holders are dumping their seats for as low as $12. Or they're eating their tickets because nobody's buying.

Around the country, the Texans are either the worst team in the NFL or darn close to it, with a $156 million alleged sexual predator banished from their game day roster.

And still the Texans act like they're holding all the cards, sticking with their sky-high trade demands for Watson. For the sake of the team, the fans, the city and the Harris County jury pool, the Texans need to move on from Deshaun Watson. Today could be their last best chance.

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