The Washington Football Team said goodbye to Alex Smith at QB. The Houston Texans have said hello to Tyrod Taylor at QB. And stuck somewhere in hello-goodbye limbo is Deshaun Watson.
Could the game of NFL Musical Chairs have that threesome dancing?
The Texans are saying very flattering things right now about the newcomer vet Taylor as a potential starter. The lawyers and the massage therapists? They seem to have a combination of flattering and unflattering views of Watson, a name that we know continues to come up when other NFL teams call Houston - though what we don't know is whether the "treasure chest'' offers are shrinking because of Watson's sordid legal entanglements.
And now we have another name tied to Houston, as Tom Pelissero, the respected NFL Network reporter, notes that depending on Watson's status, "don't rule out Alex Smith landing in Houston.''
Different teams have different views on the importance of multiple vets being in the QB room. Working on the assumption that Watson is for some reason unavailable - whether trade, holdout, suspension or court dates - is there a reason to employ both the 31-year-old Taylor and the 36-year-old Smith?
It doesn't have to be financially prohibitive to do so; Taylor's deal, initially reported as being worth "up to $12.5 million,'' is really about a modest base salary of $5.5 million. And while Smith was last year a $20 million QB, he's been sitting on the shelf long enough to know that those days, and maybe his days as a starter, are done.
Some teams habitually employ a top-notch second-string QBs; we've often called the position "the 12th starter.'' But in the case of the Texans? They didn't really do that last year, with A.J. McCarron as the backup. And with new bosses GM Nick Caserio and coach David Culley? This is their first time running their own show, so there is no track record upon which to rely.
Houston has no reason to "overpay'' another QB. But frankly, the Deshaun Watson situation is so unsettling that the Texans have every reason to check themselves here, to consider all the hellos and all the goodbyes ... because amid the confusion, they really don't know if their franchise QB is coming or going.