National Football League

At odds with franchise, Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson still wants to be traded

February 27

All eyes are on Houston.

Superstar Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has a list of complaints about the franchise longer than a Great American Novel, starting with the club's confounding trade of one of the NFL's best wide receivers, DeAndre Hopkins, and ending with the front office's refusal to grant Watson's trade request.

At least, that's where we are now.

If the franchise refuses to listen and Watson decides to sit, what's at stake for the quarterback in his prime?

Well, Watson's pocketbook would take a hit, as ahead of last season, he signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension.

If he were to opt out of the entire 2021 campaign (including mandatory minicamp, training camp and the regular season), he’d be fined $3.653 million. If the league plays the planned 17-game schedule, he would lose another $11.16 million in base salary.

Watson would also have to return the $5.4 million signing bonus he's set to earn next season. All in all, he could lose $20.213 million.

In addition, skipping a full season would have future ramifications for Watson's contract. According to Chris Broussard, the franchise currently holds all the cards when it comes to the QB's future.

"His only option if he doesn't want to play for the Texans – if they insist on not trading him – is essentially to retire. ... Then if he wanted to come back at any point, guess who would have his rights? The Houston Texans."

Still, with all that on the table, Watson has made up his mind that he will not suit up for the Texans next season, and on Friday, he made that much clear to coach David Culley.

The meeting marked Watson's first communication with the franchise since the season ended, but the standoff continues, as the Texans are still ignoring trade offers for their QB.

However, that hasn't stopped teams from leaving voicemails outlining potential compensation packages for Watson.

Watson has made it known that he would accept a deal to the New York Jets, Carolina Panthers or Miami Dolphins. Those teams all have interest in Watson, if he is available, according to sources.

Unfortunately for Watson, though, Marcellus Wiley believes his words are falling on deaf ears and Houston will hold its ground.

"He's not going anywhere – my man needs to understand what loyalty really means ... Guess what, Deshaun? Until you can say it with your chest and have Cal McNair on the other end of that conversation, respect you and agree to what you're saying, it's just you running in place."

For now, the game of chicken continues.


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