Houston Texans rookie general manager Nick Caserio is being tested. And whether you believe he's "passing'' the test or "failing'' it depends on your view of the franchise's future with Deshaun Watson.
Dallas Cowboys management is being "tested,'' too, and again, whether the Joneses are being "smart'' or "stubborn'' - or whether it is Dak Prescott and his agent who are doing so - is a matter of opinion.
First to Houston ...
"At least two teams have given offers to Houston and gotten zero feedback," national reporter Peter King writes. "Like, no reaction, no 'We’ll get back to you.' Nothing."
King adds that despite the quarterback's trade request, Caserio is "categorically opposed to trading Watson, period - either in the next nine weeks before the draft (when he’d clearly get the best deal to start the Texans’ post-Watson lives) or ever.''
This is a positive thing for the new GM ... assuming he helps close the chasm that exists between the front office and the Texans' best player. If Watson ends up back in the fold, back on the field and with faith and trust in the front office? Caserio's "no, never'' position will have been justified.
In King's weekly Football Morning In America column, he writes that Caserio isn't even listening to offers for Watson, but also notes, as we have, that there is a window for the Texans do so something that "wins'' the situation. We are two months away from the NFL Draft. There is a windfall to be had by Houston if it deals Deshaun in advance of the Draft ... and a wasted season around the corner, quite possibly, if they both fail to trade him and fail to heal the wounds.
That sort of "window'' exists in Dallas as well. Sign Dak before he has to be tagged on March 9? Good, as millions of cap-room dollars will be saved. Decide that this relationship cannot be salvaged long-term? Fine - but Dallas had better do that before the late-April NFL Draft, or, as with Deshaun and Houston, a season in limbo might await the Cowboys.
Oh, and again, this is about a "window'' and a "windfall.'' King writes that Watson's price in the event of, say, a trade with Washington might have to include "Chase Young and another promising youngster—a well as its three or four very high picks.''
Wow. Without falling into the trap of which QB is more valuable: If that can really be the "get'' for Deshaun, the "get'' for Dak would also be incredible. And tempting.
One way or another, Nick Caserio has a chance to achieve the biggest accomplishment he might ever register as the Houston GM: Solving the Watson problem in a timely and beneficial fashion.
And Jerry and Stephen Jones have the same opportunity, as does Dak Prescott: Fix this. Soon. And reap the benefits. Or let it drag ... and endure the punishment.