Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has made it clear, privately, that he wants to be traded. With the Texans not yet showing an inclination to give him what he wants, the question becomes whether Watson should make his position public.
Last year, one high-profile player sparked a trade with a well-time tweet. During Super Bowl week, we asked that player — Bills receiver Stefon Diggs — for the advice he’d given to Watson in order to get the trade he wants.
Diggs said that Watson doesn’t need to do anything beyond what he’s already done.
“I mean, the quarterback position is one of the positions that’s under a huge microscope,” Diggs said. “It’s not like being a receiver or being a tight end. Being a skill-position is one thing but being a quarterback, everybody knows when you’re not happy. Everybody knows when things aren’t right. There’s no rectifying that, of course. I don’t think he ever has to say anything. You’re not supposed to really say anything.
“Up to that tweet I never said anything. I never said, ‘I want out of Minnesota.’ You can only strongly suggest or create your own opinions about it. I kind of saw like things that happened in the media. People sharing their tidbits about how they feel this should happen or how he should handle it. In the world we live in now, anybody who’s played professional at any sport, you put a lot of time and effort and consideration into your job or to what you do. You want that to be appreciated. I don’t know the whole situation with Deshaun Watson but, obviously, he feels that way for a reason. It didn’t just come out of nowhere. Obviously, trading DeAndre Hopkins and that kind of stuff can kind of play a role in a quarterback’s success.
“I would say do whatever you gotta do to handle your business and what you want for yourself. For me, I was one of the people that it worked out for because in my opinion, they didn’t think I was gonna go to Buffalo and it was gonna go well. They didn’t think it was gonna happen that way. They thought Josh Allen was probably inaccurate. They probably thought Josh Allen and me wasn’t gonna mesh well for whatever reason. They thought I was a diva. I was one of the few stories going into a new chapter or a new path and it worked out.”
Diggs raises an intriguing perspective that could influence the Texans. Will they be more inclined to trade Watson to a team that will be less likely to thrive with Watson on the roster? Although Watson has a no-trade clause, there’s surely a group of teams for which he’d play. If/when the Texans know those teams, the Texans could be influenced, consciously or not, to steer Watson toward a team that will be the least likely to become a Super Bowl contender with Watson.
The Texans have another obvious reason for doing that. To the extent that the trade includes draft picks from 2022 and/or 2023, the worse Watson’s new team performs, the higher the selections. In turn, the better the team, the lesser the picks — and the worse the Texans will look for letting the relationship with Watson implode.
Of course, the relationship already has imploded. The Texans have every right to hold out hope that it will un-implode. In so doing, however, they may blow their opportunity to get the best possible return for Watson as potentially interested teams address their quarterback needs elsewhere.