And. Here. We. Go.
Star quarterback Deshaun Watson has officially requested a trade from the Houston Texans after rumours of his discontent have swirled for weeks, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter reported that Watson actually did so weeks ago, though it was not reported until now. The Texans announced on Wednesday that they hired Ravens assistant head coach David Culley as their new head coach, but the hire “has not and will not alter Watson’s thinking”.
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Watson has yet to speak with new Texans GM Nick Caserio or scrutinised executive Jack Easterby, according to Schefter, and he has fully decided he will move on.
The four-year pro is still under contract with the Texans for another five seasons, so Houston would have to acquiesce to his trade demands, but Watson could force their hand if he outright refuses to play.
Watson has a no-trade clause, which could allow him to dictate his next team.
It’s not all one-way traffic, however, and Schefter reports the Texans have some leverage of their own.
He reports Watson can be fined by his franchise $50,000 for every day of training he doesn’t show up for.
If he fails to turn up full stop without agreeing to a trade, Houston can demand up $21.6 million from the stud quarterback.
Watson signed a four-year, $156 million ($A203m) contract in September which carries a $15.94 million cap hit and $67.14 million dead cap hit in 2021 according to Spotrac.
Watson reportedly prefers a trade to the Jets and recently “liked” a New York Post back page story about him moving to New York on Instagram.
The Jets are far from the only team lining up potential trade war chests to snatch Watson.
Miami is also reported to be confident with where the team sits in the pecking order of teams hoping to pry Watson out of Houston.
Max Kellerman said on ESPN’s First Take described the expected trade frenzy to be “the biggest trade in NFL history, by far”.
The ball is in Watson’s court.