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Deshaun Watson trade rumors: Here’s why the Texans can’t afford to wait to trade their franchise quarterback

It took developments totally on-brand for 2020 to elicit a suggestion in 2021 that previously would’ve been preposterous — the Texans should trade Deshaun Watson as soon as possible. And for the long-term viability of their franchise, they need to. Those developments, you ask? The Texans got an MVP-caliber season from Watson but flubbed their way to 4-12 then completely alienated said quarterback during their process of hiring a new head coach. And fired head coach Bill O’Brien left wreckage: A devastating amount of it. These are all the reasons a Watson trade should happen. Soon.

Draft situation

  • Round 3
  • Round 4
  • Round 4
  • Round 5
  • Round 6
  • Round 6
  • Round 6
  • Round 7

Those are the eight draft selections Houston holds in the 2021 NFL Draft. Their first pick is set to be at No. 67 overall. That is not what a team wants to have at the outset of a rebuilding process, one the Texans find themselves in today.

Cap situation

The Texans are $17.8M over the projected 2021 cap of $176 million, according to To make financial matters worse, they’re projected to have the fewest amount of cap space in 2022 at just $43.7M. For context, the divisional rival Colts have $155.3M. Of course, they could (see: need to) skim some money off the top by releasing expensive veterans, most namely franchise legend J.J. Watt. His cap hit alone would nearly get Houston back to…having no money to spend in free agency in 2021, as his cap hit of $17.5M would be off the books if he’s let go.

Other possible cap casualties include:

Clear a few of those names, then you’re (kind of) in business, Texans. Well, except for the fact that the team would then be without some of their better, more established players.

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