In front of a plethora of cardboard cutouts in the Motor City for the annual Lions Thanksgiving game, Deshaun Watson absolutely balled out for the Texans in their 41-25 win.
For many, Thanksgiving is the only day of the year they watch football outside of maybe the Super Bowl because they’re around family members that are football fans that have it on TV; based on that one game, those who haven’t been keeping up with the NFL this season probably think the Houston Texans are a dynasty and Watson is to football what LeBron James is to basketball.
He went 17/25, 4 TD’s, no picks, and made a lot of two-dimensional men in fuzzy Lions hats in the stands very unhappy.
The only problem? It was probably all for nothing.
The relative who now thinks the Texans are Super Bowl-bound this season has a big storm coming if you want to tell them the real state of the Houston Texans; this season they’re 4-7 with wins only coming against subpar teams, and the organization currently could pretty much be summed up as a Whataburger fast-food joint set on fire on the access road of a congested Houston freeway.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s gone down in the Texans’ organization that’s brought us to where we are today:
- Traded Tackle Duane Brown, leaving Watson to run for his life behind a stripped offensive line (Watson at one point had to travel by BUS instead of the team plane because he had taken so many hits that his lungs couldn’t take it)
- Traded Jadeveon Clowney for two rotation-level players and a third-round pick
- Traded two first and second-round picks to the Dolphins for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills (who was cut last week)
- Traded All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson and a 2nd round pick
- Fired Coach and GM Bill O’Brien after 0-4 start
- Fired Amy Palcic, a woman respected league-wide and was the first female in the top PR role in the NFL because she “didn’t fit the culture”
- Tried to trade star receiver Will Fuller at the deadline but couldn’t get anything in return
- Will Fuller gets popped for steroids during his career year
- Have no first-round pick to tank or look forward to after the trade with the Dolphins and have a bottom-10 cap space situation in the league
Things are clearly going great in H-Town.
The Texans’ superstars seem to be well-aware of the trainwreck the organization’s decision-making has been. DeAndre Hopkins just twists the knife even further with every tweet he sends out about being thankful to have been traded and balls out on a team that’s currently winning and JJ Watt recently commented that he wasn’t looking to “endure a rebuild” implying that he wants to walk. This brings us to Watson, who signed a 4-year, $160 million extension during the offseason. He’ll be imprisoned in this abyss of despair for the prime of his career unless something drastic changes.
What do we, as a moral and productive society, do about it? Do we hold a protest outside of NRG Stadium?
Do we barricade the doors of the offices of the incompetent individuals running the franchise until they give up and we hire people who know how to run a team? Do we need to pay a premium price to George Clooney and the rest of the cast of the Ocean’s Eleven crew to kidnap Watson in a heist and drive him to a safehouse and blackmail the team into trading him?
In the NBA, these issues are solved much more frequently through what’s grown to become known as the “Player Empowerment Era”. There’s a mutual understanding between the front offices, agents, and players that it’s a player-driven league and if the player is unhappy and wants to be moved, he can send out cryptic Tweets or formally say, “Yeah, I’m tired of losing. Get me outta here. I want to play there instead.” They’ll be moved as soon as the team can get the value of any sort for them in return. Anthony Davis can send a memo to the Pelicans saying he wants to be a Laker and they cater to his desire so that he walks in free agency for nothing or refuses to play.
The NFL doesn’t, and frankly can’t operate that way. You get fined for holding out under the CBA, and the sport is just more injury-laden with less player-reliance where the owner typically has the upper-hand in negotiations.
The players need that guaranteed money and Watson would look foolish to jeopardize $160 million.
However, he’s bent over backward for this organization that he should in theory possess that power. Deshaun should march on down to the office and demand that things get straightened out as an organization- that means hiring a coach and GM duo that has his stamp of approval. That means hiring scouts that know how to evaluate talent through the draft (with the picks you don’t GIVE AWAY) and not overpaying aging or inefficient players (or trading away all of his friends and talented players). Give the man some pass rush on the opposite side of the ball, weapons to throw to, and protection outside of the monster contract that is Tunsil and you’re an instant contender with Watson at the helm.
JJ Watt may, unfortunately, be in the twilight of his career and therefore can’t carry a team in a rebuild, but when you watch Deshaun Watson make the athletic, clutch plays he’s been making ever since he won the National Championship at Clemson, you can’t ever count out a team with him leading the way when he’s fully healthy.
According to PFF, he held the highest passer rating of any quarterback in the league last season during the fourth quarter and overtime (88.6) which just screams “don’t ever count me out”.
The NFL is a quarterback-driven, pass-heavy league where if you have the dynamic leader that he is at that position, you’ve already solved half the battle.
He’s got the heart of a lion. He grew up in a Habitat for Humanity home. He’s torn his ACL twice and even won a game in college playing with one. He’s a National Champion. He’s a Pro-Bowler. He’s the future of the league. He’s someone who deserves to be quarterbacking a winning team.
I just hope we don’t have to kidnap him out of Houston to accomplish that.
Featured Image: ---