Deshaun Watson may be taking snaps for a new team come the start of the 2021 season.
“There is a growing sense” the star quarterback might have played his last game as a member of the Houston Texans, ESPN reported Sunday. The Miami Dolphins were identified as a potential trade destination for Watson as he reportedly likes the culture Brian Flores has built in the organization.
The latest report adds to the further apparent splintering of Watson’s relationship with the organization.
Watson “just wants out” of the Texans, a source told Sports Illustrated in a story published Saturday. The longtime Texans quarterback, arguably the best quarterback the organization has ever had, reportedly found team owner Cal McNair’s comments on their relationship “patronizing.”
Another issue that came up was Watson’s input on the next coach of the Texans. Watson reportedly was hoping Houston would interview Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for the coaching job, but the team didn’t and now must wait until next week to do so. Patrick Mahomes told Watson that Bieniemy was the one who helped direct his career into what it is now, a source told Sports Illustrated.
Watson’s growing frustrations were documented last year, after DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. Watson offered his input on potential general manager candidates, but the Texans failed to consider their franchise quarterback during the process, ESPN reported. The Texans reportedly didn’t tell Watson that they had hired Nick Caserio as the team’s next GM.
The quarterback has quietly met with his teammates about requesting a trade, Pro Football Talk reported.
There’s no clear indication a trade is imminent for Watson. He does have a large contract that a team would have to inherit. Houston has no real obligation to trade him. Watson signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension at the beginning of September. He is due to make $10.5 million in 2021, and then $35 million in 2022. He has a potential out after the 2023 season.
Hall of Famer Randy Moss supported Watson’s decision Saturday.
“That era of just shut up and play, we’re done with that. If you look at what the Houston Texans have done with Deshaun Watson, there have been some great things they’ve done with him,” he said on ESPN. “But I do believe they have failed a guy like Deshaun Watson.”
Despite Houston’s 4-12 record in 2020, the Clemson product proved to be one of the elite quarterbacks in all of football. Watson set a career-high with a 70.2 completion percentage, he threw for an NFL-best 4,823 yards with 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
Watson also had 444 rushing yards with three more scores on the ground.
Fox News’ Dan Canova contributed to this report.