When on the record 10 days ago, the Texans said nothing to suggest that the door is slammed shut on a possible trade of quarterback Deshaun Watson. More recently, they’ve said something else under the guise of anonymity.
“The goal is to get him back, period,” an unnamed person with knowledge of the team’s thinking said, via NFL Media.
The goal may be to get him back, but that ship by all appearances has sailed. It’s over. He’s done. He waited to ask for a trade because he knew that, one he did, there was no going back.
And while it’s entirely possible that, instead of holding out, he’ll choose to hold in (not practicing or playing due to actual, embellished, and/or fabricated injuries), Watson doesn’t seem to be wired that way. He’s either all in or all out. And if he all out, he’s not showing up — no matter the fine, the bonus repayment, or the salary forfeiture.
The Texans surely are smart enough to know this. Are they smart enough to make the right decisions in the face of it? That’s really the question.
Some teams simply don’t know enough to know what’s good for them. G.M. Nick Caserio likely does. But he’s the new guy. Owner Cal McNair and/or executive V.P. of football operations Jack Easterby may give Caserio marching orders that conflict with good, sound, sensible decisions.
Of course, it’s possible that the Texans have decided to take the position that the goal is to get Watson back, with the goal of driving up the price for a trade.
However it plays out, recent events involving the Texans justify a plausible conclusion that, whatever the team chooses to do, it will choose wrong.