This NFL offseason has already been rather wild, especially for some of the league’s top quarterbacks.
Some have already been sent packing, others await their fate, and a select few are reportedly desperate to have their teams trade them.
But in one high-profile case, this head coach has defiantly proclaimed that his disgruntled star quarterback isn’t going anywhere.
The Houston Texans’ offseason has seemingly been doomed from the moment it began.
After firing their head coach and general manager, their star quarterback DeShaun Watson expected to be involved in the hiring process as team owner Bob McNair promised him that he would at least be able to provide input.
However, the Texans made their new hires without ever talking with Watson, which set off a chain of events that has the franchise player reportedly unwilling to ever play for the team again.
On top of that, the cornerstone of their team for the past decade, three-time defensive player of the year J.J. Watt, also decided his time in Houston was over.
Needless to say, the Texans are in complete disarray and seemingly locked in a death spiral.
And as if matters couldn’t be worse, their new head coach may have just thrown gasoline on the fire when it comes to the DeShaun Watson situation.
Speaking with the media on Thursday, Texans head coach David Culley said the team is committed to Watson and have no contingency plans in place should the quarterback refuse to play in Houston.
“There is no contingency plan,” Culley said. “[Watson] is a Houston Texan, and that’s how we’re moving forward with it. We’re committed to him, as I said before.”
“With the commitment we made to him, I feel like that same commitment would be made to us also.”
Culley also appeared to try and play dumb when asked about the drama between Watson and the team, and essentially said the team owns the quarterback, a comment that no modern day star athlete would take too kindly.
“I don’t know about him not wanting to be a Houston Texan,” Culley claimed. “I just know he’s a Houston Texan, he’s ours and we’re going to go with that.”
To put it bluntly, David Culley either has the worst poker face of all-time, is in complete denial that he’s now the captain of a sinking ship, or he’s just not very smart.
Culley and the Texans have a quarterback who can be one of the top-5 players at his position for the next 15 years, but feels he was lied to by a franchise that is known for wasting player’s careers.
And his bright idea was to pretend that there’s no issue and to proclaim that the team owns a player in a time in which professional athletes love to claim that team owners are modern day slave owners?
Let’s be real, Culley isn’t wrong – the Texans have a binding contract with Watson and he can’t really force them to trade him, just as they can’t force him to play.
Whether athletes like it or not they are employees, high-priced assets that teams can move around like chess pieces if they want.
But at some point, you have to know your audience, and right now, DeShaun Watson is the last person the Texans should be telling that they “own” him.
As previously mentioned, the Texans are in a death spiral and have to start from square one to rebuild the team.
They’ve already alienated their franchise quarterback, lost one of the league’s best defensive players, and outside of working out a deal with the Jaguars to secure the first overall pick so they can draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, they don’t have the ability the replace Watson with a quarterback that’s anywhere close to as talented as what they have.
Culley shouldn’t have been bowing down to Watson and kissing his feet, but he also shouldn’t go to the other extreme and pretend that he and the Texans are in control right now.
Ultimately, Culley is really the only person inside the Texans organization that could potentially convince DeShaun Watson to suit up for the team this season, mainly because the quarterback just doesn’t trust anyone else that’s been there for more than a few months.
The messaging matters in this type of standoff, and unless Culley wants to be fired midseason like 66.6% of the Texans past head coaches, he should really think before he speaks from here on out.
His paycheck depends on it.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.