UPDATE: New Texans general manager Nick Caserio says the team has "zero interest" to see their starting QB leave, ABC13 reports.
The Deshaun Watson era in Houston appears to be at an end.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Houston Texans superstar quarterback has officially requested a trade, per league sources. Watson has also reportedly not spoken to team general manager Nick Caserio or much-maligned executive Jack Easterby, according to Schefter.
This news breaks just after the Texans have announced the hiring of a new head coach, David Culley. While Culley has worked with some NFL offensive gurus such as Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, he is largely unproven and entering his first role as a team leader. Watson has not commented publicly on the hire; Schefter notes that the move “will not alter Watson’s thinking.”
Watson has been disgruntled since the team traded his go-to receiver and friend, DeAndre Hopkins, in a ridiculed move last year. The quarterback also asked management to consult him on hires; he learned of Caserio’s hiring on social media. Watson was also an ardent supporter of candidate Eric Bienemy, the former NFL player turned offensive coordinator for the Chiefs. As CultureMap columnist Ken Hoffman notes, the Texans were the only team to decline an interview with Bienemy, which certainly didn’t help the cause.
News quickly broke that Watson was interested in being moved to the Miami Dolphins and later, the New York Jets.
Even normally silent former Texans have weighed in on the current Texans debacle. Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson tweeted: “Since Jack Easterby walk [sic] into the building nothing good has happened. For some reason someone can’t seem to see what’s going on. Pathetic!!!”
Thus, another controversial exit seems imminent. Watson threw for 4,823 yards and 33 touchdowns last season. Time will tell if the team nets ample compensation for one of the brightest stars in the league.