Deshaun Watson appears to have hit a boiling point as it relates to the Houston Texans. Shortly after Texans owner Cal McNair publicly stated (among other things) that Jack Easterby would stay on as the team’s vice president of football operations, Watson posted a Twitter message indicating his level of frustration with the franchise.
Watson’s tweet confirmed a recent report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter stating that Watson’s anger level has reached “a 10” — it was previously at “a 2” after the team traded All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals last offseason.
“I was on 2 then I took it to 10,” Watson tweeted Friday afternoon.
Along with confirming that he would not be parting with Easterby, McNair told the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain that he wants Watson to be part of the process as it relates to who will be the team’s next head coach. McNair also said that he has been texting with his Pro Bowl quarterback. The two did not communicate when Watson was recently on vacation.
“It’s no secret he’s disappointed in the (lack of) communication during the hiring process,” McNair said of Watson not being involved in the team’s hiring of general manager Nick Caserio, via NFL.com.
Watson and Andre Johnson were supposed to be included in the Texans’ process of hiring a new general manager and head coach. Watson, Johnson, team president Jamey Rootes, and the search firm Korn Ferry were also supposed to aid McNair as he began filling those vacancies.
While those alluded to above were supposed to have a voice in the hiring process, things quickly went sideways, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. McNair hired Caserio as interviews were still being conducted, according to La Canfora. Candidates who were still waiting to be interviewed never got the chance.
McNair’s actions clearly don’t sit well with Johnson, a seven-time Pro Bowl receiver and the first player ever inducted into the Texans’ Ring of Honor. On Tuesday, Johnson, via Twitter, delivered a message to Watson, who reportedly is considering waiving the no-trade clause that is currently in his contract.
“If I’m @deshaunwatson I will stand my ground. The Texans organization is known for wasting players careers. Since Jack Easterby has walk into the building nothing good has happened in/for the organization and for some reason someone can’t seem to see what’s going on. Pathetic!!!”
Hopkins, who has continued to play at a Pro Bowl level with the Cardinals, responded to Johnson’s comments.
“When Dre speak listen,” Hopkins wrote via Twitter.
A member of the Texans’ organization since 2019, Easterby was promoted to VP of football operations last February. Easterby spent six seasons in New England with Caserio, who spent the last 13 years as the Patriots‘ director of player personnel.
Amidst growing speculation that Easterby would be gone, McNair ended those rumors on Friday.
“The scrutiny on Jack is really unjustified,” McNair said. “Jack was put into that role the organization needed by me. If missteps were made during that process, we’ll own those within our building. Jack will (return) to the role he was brought here for and what he grew into after he got here.”
Watson is still angry over the Texans’ insensitivity to social justice, including the team’s hiring practices, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Sunday. Specifically, Watson was upset after the Texans did not conduct an interview with current Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy. Watson would reportedly consider waiving his no-trade clause to go to Miami in a deal that would include current Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Watson is not the only Texans star who is upset over the current state of the team. Three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt was overheard apologizing to Watson at the end of the team’s Week 17 loss to the Titans.
“I’m sorry we wasted one of your years,” Watt told the 25-year-old quarterback.
After two consecutive playoff seasons, the Texans won just four games in 2020. Despite the lack of team success, Watson led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards. He also completed 70.2% of his passes with 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions while earning his third consecutive Pro Bowl selection.
While he has not publicly addressed the current rumors surrounding Watson, Caserio said that Watson is “our quarterback” when addressing the media on Jan. 8. McNair also offered his support of Watson on Friday.
“I’ve watched Deshaun since he played at Clemson,” McNair said. “I believe he can win championships here. We believe in him. He’s a great person and a Texan. He’s our quarterback.”