When he arrived in late January to take the job as head coach of the Houston Texans, David Culley was adamant that he planned on coaching Deshaun Watson, that Watson would be the quarterback of the Houston Texans. It would be an understatement to say that a lot has transpired since then, enough to where Culley gets continually asked about Watson, even though it's obvious the quarterback will never play for the team again.
On Wednesday, Culley announced that next week's mandatory minicamp will be canceled, meaning that Watson will get to steer clear of the $93,000 in fines he would have been subjected to had he skipped that minicamp. Also, Culley and the players have three less days of the ghost of Watson swirling around them in Zoom calls and on the practice field.
However, the Watson news cycle, while slow lately, never sleeps for long, and the latest nugget to enter the news cycle came on Wednesday afternoon, with former Texans (and current Broncos) defensive back Kareem Jackson claiming Watson has told Jackson that he wants desperately to be a Denver Bronco when the time comes for the Texans to trade him.
The full sound bite is in the embedded tweet below, but the money part of the cut is the following:
"I've got a great relationship with Deshaun," Jackson told former NFL cornerback Aquib Talib on his "Catchin' Fades" podcast.
"I've been talking to him the last couple of weeks, man, and like, all he's been telling me is like, 'Jack, just tell 'em, like, that's where I want to be.' ... He's like, 'I want to be in Denver.'"
Here is the full clip from Jackson:
My thoughts on this latest twist in the never ending road that is the Deshaun Watson Trade Saga:
Denver is the one team that made no QB commitments in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Back in the spring, before the lawsuits against Deshaun started flying, there were believed to be about a half dozen teams that were hot to trot to trade for Watson. However, once it was clear that the legal saga was going to be a long one, many teams moved onto a Plan B. The Jets, 49ers, Bears, and Patriots all drafted quarterbacks. The Panthers traded for Sam Darnold. The Broncos were the one team that wanted to make a play for Watson that decided to sit tight with their current (subpar) quarterback situation. The Broncos seem to very clearly be waiting for an elite solution via trade to present itself.
Denver is also a potential landing spot for Aaron Rodgers.
One problem for the Texans, aside from Watson's legal situation, is that the supply of available elite level quarterbacks may have possibly increased by one, with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers currently sideways with his employer, the Green Bay Packers. Moreover, the Denver Broncos are reportedly hopeful of being the landing spot for Rodgers, if indeed Green Bay decides to honor his wishes and move him in a trade. It's simple supply and demand — if you have the only elite quarterback, you can demand more from trade suitors. The presence of Rodgers as a possibility for the Broncos muddies the works for the Texans, and theoretically, for Watson, if that's his desired destination.
Is Denver really THAT great a situation for a starting quarterback?
Look, the Texans are most definitely, at best, a cauldron of unknowns, and at worst, an abject disaster waiting to happen in 2021. Watson wanting to play somewhere else is understandable. If indeed Jackson is accurate in what conveying Watson's sentiments, though, and Denver is the apple of Watson's eye, how certain is he that it's going to be all better in the Mile High City? Sure, the roster is better than the Texans' roster, but it's not considered a good roster, by any means. Also, the ownership situation is a gummed up mess in Denver, with the late Pat Bowlen's family battling it out for control.
Oh yeah, there's still those damn lawsuits.
The bottom line is that Watson can beg Jackson all he wants to put in a good word for him in Denver. Until the Houston police close their investigation on Watson (reportedly, up to ten women have gone to the police), and the NFL decides on a punishment for him (if any), then no team is pulling the trigger on a deal. Both of those things, along with resolutions on 22 civil lawsuits, could take a while.
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