Every-Thing Sports

Watson's comments and extension: Here's where they should go from here

Composite image by Jack Brame.

When it comes to contract negotiations, teams and players will use whatever leverage they have at their disposal. Whether it's a team leaking what they've offered a player to show fans and media that they offered something fair, or it's a player and his camp leaking details of the organization's unwillingness to meet reasonable demands, there's always a spin put on things.

Deshaun Watson has been a bit more outspoken than Texans fans are used to over the last few weeks. He's not only appeared at protests of social injustice, but he's also spoken out against such topics as well. Recently appearing on Carmelo Anthony's podcast, Watson has made comments saying he hasn't spoken to team owner Cal McNair about the recent events and going as far as suggesting conversations will be uncomfortable when everyone returns to the locker room. Couple this with the fact that Watson is looking to negotiate an extension, and you could be looking at a recipe for disaster.

Add all of that to the fact that head coach Bill O'Brien is also the general manager, and we could be looking at a flaming dumpster fire. So what could all of this mean for Watson and the Texans moving forward? Here's what I'm thinking:

Watson's alleged preferences

We've heard through the grapevine that Watson prefers a shorter deal than the 10 year/503 million dollar deal Pat Mahomes has signed. There's a few reasons I agree with this sentiment. For one: it allows him to reset and reenter the market. A shorter deal, potentially with more guaranteed money, allows him to see the landscape and sign another deal making more money while Mahomes is still under his long-term deal.

Good business sense

Seeing as how the current racial/social climate is, Watson knows he's holding the cards. Add that to the fact that the organization traded the best receiver he had in a decision to move in a different direction, Watson is clearly in the driver's seat when it comes to the business end of things. If he follows the Russell Wilson model, he can reset the market every three to five years when it comes to quarterback extensions. Wilson has roughly 70-plus percent of his four-year deal guaranteed, whereas Mahomes has only 12.5 percent of his deal guaranteed. While one is a four-year deal and the other is ten years, you can see why Watson would prefer the shorter term deal with more guarantees.

Social injustice playing a part

When Bill O'Brien came out and said he'd kneel and support his players, I wasn't too surprised. A guy in his position should be willing to do anything he can to support the guys that have afforded him the power and job security he's acquired. The organization has put out a series of sit-downs on their website with ownership and several former players and dignitaries talking about social injustice. How Cal McNair reacts to being called out by Watson will play a huge part in this process. If he reacts in a manner that is pleasing to Watson, he'll most likely re-sign. But if he reacts in a manner that Watson deems anything less than acceptable, he won't be back.

Watson holds all the cards here. The Texans know it, and so does the general public. We've seen Bill O'Brien fumble personnel moves since being installed as the general manager. This contract negotiation needs to be different in order to save this franchise. While I don't expect Watson to set a new market for quarterback contracts, I do expect him to be fairly compensated. Something along the lines of what Russell Wilson got, but with a bump in overall value and guaranteed money seems fair in my eyes. A four-year deal worth $144 million with $108 million fully guaranteed is what I'm thinking. This way, Watson can say he has the second highest annual average ($36 million) and the most fully guaranteed money at the time of signing (Mahomes only has $63 million of his whopper deal fully guaranteed). Will cooler heads prevail? Or, will this franchise suffer another devastating loss due to stupidity?

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans loss rests squarely on this decision

Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Getty Images.

There are times in which you gamble and it pays off. Then there are times in which you gamble and lose badly. Today was definitely the latter. The Texans fell to the Titans 42-36 in an overtime thriller. The loss rests squarely on the head of interim head coach Romeo Crennel and his ill-timed gambling at the end of the game.

It started with the gamble to go for it on 4th&1 on the Titans' 35-yard line with 4:37 left in the game. That move said two things: A) we're on the road at 1-4 against the 4-0 division leader up by one point so let's try to end this, or B) I don't trust our kicker to make a 53-yard field goal. They converted because David Johnson is good for slamming into the backs of the offensive line for at least a yard or three. The next gamble came eight plays later. It was 4th & Goal from the 1-yard line. The play call was a pass. Deshaun Watson found Randall Cobb after scrambling to extend the play and putting the ball in a tight window on the sideline where only Cobb could catch it. Here's where I started to have a problem with the gambling.

That touchdown made it 36-29 in favor of the Texans. Up by seven with less than two minutes left in the game, the "right" call would be to kick the extra point to potentially go up by eight. That forces the opposition to have to score a touchdown and convert a two point conversion in order to tie the game. Alas...Crennel gambled by trying to force things, went for two, and came up short. Kenny Rogers once said: You've got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run.

The porous defense, however, gave up the game tying touchdown and extra point with four seconds left to send the game into overtime. From there, the Titans got the ball in overtime and drove down the field for the game winning score. A team that played a game on Tuesday evening bullied a team on Sunday at noon. Let that sink in. Sure, Derrick Henry is a linebacker playing running back, but the amount of yards you gave up to him was unacceptable.

Not kicking that extra point to go up by eight with less than two minutes left (1:50 to be exact) was the key coaching move that I feel cost them the game. There's no coming back from blunders like that when you're now 1-5 and would need to go at least 8-2 with tons of help down the stretch to have an outside shot at the newly created seventh spot in the playoffs. You had the division leader down and were in position to get a division win to go to 2-4. Instead, you're now in position to help the Dolphins continue to improve their franchise from the boneheaded decisions Bill O'Brien made before his exit. Crennel and staff coached a good game, until the end when it mattered most. With an extra playoff spot available, they still have an outside shot to make it, but it'll be difficult.

This city and fanbase deserve better. One day, they'll get it and get a winner. Until then unfortunately, they'll have to settle for purgatory, disappointment, and mediocrity. Hold tight. I see good things coming one day Houston football fans.

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