With the Houston Texans' new management recently stating that they have no plans to grant Deshaun Watson's trade request, it appears there's a possibility that the disgruntled quarterback will choose not to play in the upcoming 2021 season if he doesn't get moved.
As quoted by Sports Illustrated on Tuesday, NBC analyst Chris Simms recently suggested on PFT Live that based on what he's heard from his sources, there seems to be "no way" that Watson will ever suit up again for the Texans.
"I have been told by somebody that I trust that says 'Deshaun Watson will not play for the Houston Texans ever again, and he's willing to sit out football for the year if he has to.' That's where I've been led to understand this situation and where it's at right now, and like I said, it's someone that I trust very much."Although there isn't any actual trade deadline during the offseason, Sports Illustrated stressed that this year's draft, which will kick off on April 29, is like an "invisible" cutoff point for both Watson and his current team. According to the outlet, this is because the Texans will likely want to move the 25-year-old before the draft or during the event itself, as they might request multiple picks in exchange for their franchise signal-caller.
As reported on January 29 by NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk, the Texans reaffirmed their commitment to Watson during new head coach David Culley's introductory press conference. Before he even fielded questions from reporters, recently hired general manager Nick Caserio said that the team has "zero interest in trading the player," adding later on that he is confident that it is still possible for the club to repair its relationship with Watson by being "honest" and "forthright."
So far, there have several teams that have been linked to Watson since he first requested to be traded, including the Miami Dolphins, who, as recently suggested, could theoretically offer a package centered on rookie signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa, and the New York Jets, who have been described as one of the few clubs with the assets required to make a deal happen.
This isn't the first time in recent days that the possibility of Watson missing the 2021 campaign has been floated around amid his ongoing stalemate with the Texans. On Saturday, NFL insider Josina Anderson took to Twitter, citing an unnamed AFC executive who told her that it doesn't seem likely Houston will acquiesce to the quarterback's demands. The source added that Watson appears "serious" enough to potentially hold out for the entirety of the upcoming season.