Thursday began with rumors that former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson could ask the Houston Texans for a trade to get out of a struggling franchise.
By Thursday evening, the speculation grew legs and has now become one about issues with management. According to ESPN and NFL.com, Watson is unhappy with how the Texans' brass hired new general manager Nick Caserio, who came over from the front office of the New England Patriots.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that sources told him Watson had asked owner Cal McNair to let he and his teammates be part of the hiring process, but the Texans made the decision to bring on Caserio without consulting players like Watson, who found on about his new boss on social media.
NFL.com's Ian Rapaport said Watson hasn't spoken to Texans management in several days, and his unhappiness stems not from Caserio himself, but the lack of player involvement.
The Texans are burning bridges with their only true hope for a turnaround. Compounded with last year's trade of former Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins, which Watson didn't know about before it happened, the franchise QB who signed a mega-contract last September is once again disgruntled about the way the Texans are operating.
The organization, which went 4-12 in 2020, is still without a coach, and Watson wants to have input there as well. According to ESPN, he simply wants to his teammates to have a voice and then let ownership and management make the final decision.
Could Watson get so upset that he demands a trade and starts an ugly offseason saga? It's becoming more and more possible. The four-year quarterback and three-time Pro Bowler is coming off his best career season and led the NFL in passing yards in 2020, despite having injured and poor weapons around him.
There would be no shortage of teams looking to add Watson, and speculation of interested franchises includes the Steelers, Falcons, Panthers and many more. If Houston moves their star, it would cost nearly $22 million against the salary cap, but there would be a massive haul of draft picks and players.
Some clarity on this situation could come Friday when McNair is scheduled to address the media for the first time in nearly two years. Watson will be a hot topic, and the words McNair uses will be important in defusing what's become a fiery situation.