Here's what the Tyrod Taylor signing means for Deshaun Watson and Texans
There are moves a team can make that will galvanize a team and/or a fanbase. Then there are moves a team can make that'll make you wonder. There are also moves a team can make that'll leave a fanbase speechless for one reason or another. When news came down that the Texans signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor to a one-year deal worth up to $12.5 million dollars, it made waves.
The reason it made waves is because the Texans' franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson has been very vague about his desire to no longer play for the team again. He's been posting cryptic tweets filled with various rap lyrics, as well as scrubbing any mention of the team from his social media bios. It has gotten to the point that even the most hardcore Texan fans and supporters are fed up with his antics.
I never thought it would come to this. Watson has been universally beloved by this city. He could do no wrong. His heart-felt reaction to his contract extension this past September sealed his fate seemingly as he made it seem like this was the only place for him to play and be committed to bringing a championship. Fast-forward a few months, and things are drastically different.
Not only does he want out of Houston, but he's gone about doing so in a manner in which he's turned heel by the way he's chosen to do so. Had he done this quietly, respectfully and behind the scenes, the fanbase wouldn't be as upset as they are now. When JJ Watt released his statement saying he spoke with the team and demanded his release, fans weren't upset at all. They saw it as their long-time great seeking to ride out the twilight of his career in a winning organization instead of facing a rebuild here in Houston. Instead, Watson chose to leak info via his agent and make his intentions known via social media games typical of a disgruntled new age star.
When Nick Caserio signed Tyrod Taylor to the type of deal he did, it put the ball squarely back in Watson's court. Now, Watson can sit out if he chooses, and the Texans will have a respectable quarterback under center. The deal contains a $6 million dollar base salary and up to $6.5 million dollars in incentives. This speaks to Taylor's signing as him being a backup with incentives if he's forced into being the starter. He's a trusted guy to have in that position because he's a proven, reliable guy at a position that has become more valuable over the last few years.
I talked about this on ESPN 97.5 Houston and explained that I believe the grouping of quality backup quarterbacks in the league is bigger than the top tier of elite starters. There may be about five or six elite level quarterbacks in the league, but as many as six to ten backups teams would love to have as their backups. A serviceable backup can win a few games for a team, and maybe even lead them to a playoff berth. He won't be the long-term solution, and often has some deficiencies that'll hold him back from being a full time starter. They're good in spots or small stretches. Typically, they've had the chance to start for teams in the past, but have never proven themselves for one reason or another.
Watson now has to open his width of teams he's willing to take a trade to under his no-trade clause in order to hasten his exit, or be willing to sit out the 2021 season and forfeit about $20 million dollars. Caserio is basically staring at him and his agent with a smirk on his face. This move gives them the chance to be respectable at the quarterback position, but not appear as desperate as they could've been. Your move Watson. Choose wisely.