HOUSTON -- Deshaun Watson is back in Houston and ready to report to Texans camp. Will he be playing here in 2021?
That's highly unlikely as of this time, and it won't change throughout camp.
Watson didn't walk back into NRG Stadium as a peace offering. He's here to pick up a paycheck and avoid being fined.
Watson, it says here, is done in Houston. He doesn't care that he signed a four-year, $156 million extension. He doesn't want to learn anything about new coach David Culley or the new offense.
Watson wants out of Houston for good. That's fine, but it's now on Nick Caserio's terms. Or should be.
Caserio knows how to work deals in his favor. He did it alongside Bill Belichick with the Patriots.
Not only was New England known for giving up first-round selections to add proven talent, but they also knew when to trade premier stars at the highest value.
Jamie Collins. Chandler Jones. Brandin Cooks. Ring a bell?
Caserio has made the quarterback available via trade. We know this. That said, a trade push doesn't mean "best available option now," but rather, "best option long-term.''
This is a top-five player at the most important position in the sport. One doesn't "settle" just to end a problem.
Can Scottie Help Texans be ‘Special’?
Texans' Scottie Phillips was active for special-teams reasons
When Can Ka'imi Kick?
In four NFL seasons, Fairbairn has made 104 of 123 field goals (84.6 percent) and 148 of 161 extra points (91.9 percent).
Bidding teams may be wary of acquiring Watson's services. He still faces 22 civil cases of sexual misconduct and sexual assault.
Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that while Watson is at camp and has no desire to play in Houston, commissioner Roger Goodell sits in his office, pondering what to do.
And Nick ponders, too.
At one point, it was said the Texans wouldn't trade the franchise quarterback for anything less than three first-round picks, several mid-round selections and a proven player. As of now, it seems that's still is — and should be — the asking price.
What's the Watson market? Miami seems content to run it back with Tua Tagovailoa. Las Vegas still has Derek Carr. Carolina added Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. And assorted teams drafted first-round QBs.
Watson is worth a king's ransom on the open market. If his name is cleared, he'll be worth even more. For Caserio, it's about getting the best investment back.
Soon, that offer will be coming. For now, it's about remaining patient enough to keep the finger off the trigger.
This roster - and maybe Caserio's legacy - depends on it.
CONTINUE READING: Lots of Bodies? Texans Training Camp Preview: Tight End