Maybe the wound can be closed and healed. Maybe Jack Easterby and the people who run the Houston Texans (into the ground?) can be true to their words. Maybe the "irreparable'' relationship with Deshaun Watson can somehow be repaired.
But at the moment? Other NFL teams are reportedly phoning the Texans to express interest in a trade ...
And ... "He just wants out.”
Those are a words of a Watson friend to Sports Illustrated, all stemming of course from his concern with the Texans’ organizational direction - and management's fib about its plan to include the locker-room leader Watson in the team’s hiring process for a new coach and general manager.
Further comes an ESPN report from Adam Schefter, who apparently put a hard edge on the finality of Watson's time in Houston before adding in a tweet that "it's early ... there's a lot of time left.''
But the rumor is now fact. Deshaun Watson, at this moment, is not bonded with the Texans, to say the least.
It is not that Watson is "anti-Nick Caserio.''
It is not that Watson is "demanding'' that his favorite coach candidate be hired.
It is not a "power struggle.''
It is, simply, about the franchise making the same commitment to winning that the quarterback makes, about the franchise.
Part of that commitment is honesty, and a new story from Sports Illustrated continues to paint the Easterby-led Texans front office as something short of that.
After the season, Watson offered a passionate public plea focusing on the organization's need for "leadership,'' saying ...
1) "We need a whole culture shift.''
2) "We need new energy.''
3) "We need discipline. We need structure.''
4) "We need a leader so we can follow that leader as players. That's what we need ... We need someone that stands tall, and this is who we follow and this is the way it goes."
5) "There's too many different minds, too many different ideas and too many people thinking they have this power ...''
He was too polite to name names.
But if Texans fans are to wonder how many excess chefs are in the NRG Stadium kitchen ... well, at the time of Watson's statement, Texans owner Cal McNair was in place, of course. But there was no GM. And there was no coach.
What is the identity of the "too-many'' chef?
As we write this, Watson has yet to ask for a trade. As we write this, Watson has yet to issue to McNair a "me-or-him'' demand. As we write this, we still believe that Caserio and Watson owe it to one another to visit, face-to-face (no, McNair texts to Mexico probably won't get it done).
At which point - in between fielding trade offers - the Houston Texans might have to choose because their most important employee who "just wants out'' and a "character coach'' for whom "out'' might be the only solution.
CONTINUE READING: Deshaun Watson Relationship with Houston Texans 'Irreparable'