David Culley Says Deshaun Watson Is Texans’ QB ‘Right Now’ amid Trade Rumors

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) and quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) walk off the field after an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. The Titans won 41-38. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Houston Texans head coach David Culley says Deshaun Watson is the team’s starting quarterback. Well, at least at present. 

“He is our starting quarterback right now,” Culley said when asked if Watson would be the team’s starter in Week 1 of the regular season, per Jim Trotter of NFL.com. “He is our starting quarterback. Things happen between now and then. We’ll see what happens.”

Jim Trotter @JimTrotter_NFL

Huddle&Flow drops later today with Texans coach David Culley. Based on the conversation, I firmly believe Deshaun Watson will be traded. Culley didn’t explicitly say that, but when using terms like on the roster “right now” & “we want guys who are all in”—writing is on the wall.

You can see the full excerpt from Culley’s appearance on the Huddle & Flow podcast below:

Jim Trotter @JimTrotter_NFL

Houston Texans coach David Culley addresses the Deshaun Watson question on Huddle&Flow with @wyche89 @tewarren and me. https://t.co/MB5YYJATgS

During a press conference Thursday, however, Culley left less room for interpretation regarding Watson’s future with the Texans: 

Sarah Barshop @sarahbarshop

David Culley was asked if Deshaun Watson is committed to the Texans.

Culley: “Yes he is.”

How do you know?

“He’s a Houston Texan.”

Field Yates @FieldYates

In his press conference, Texans head coach David Culley states: “We are very committed to Deshaun as our quarterback. He is our quarterback.”

So there’s that.

Aaron Reiss @aaronjreiss

David Culley on the QB situation: “There is no contingency plan. (Deshaun Watson) is a Houston Texan, and that’s how we’re moving forward with it. We’re committed to him, as I said before.”

If Watson gets his wish, he will be traded this offseason. His unhappiness with the organization is hardly a secret. 

Dan Graziano @DanGrazianoESPN

Per sources, Texans QB Deshaun Watson met with new Texans head coach David Culley last Friday. In that meeting Watson reiterated that he wants to be traded and told Culley he has no intention of playing for the Texans again. No change from Watson’s end. He remains dug in.

Watson’s leverage is that is a long, drawn-out and public staredown will damage the organization’s reputation with other players around the league. He could also hold out for the 2021 season if he isn’t traded, and even if he reports, the fact that everybody knows he wants to be elsewhere isn’t great for team morale. 

Houston doesn’t need to trade him, though. He’s under contract through 2025 and is arguably one of the five best quarterbacks in football. Those players are hard to come by, and the Texans rightly should want to keep him. Unless they’re blown away by a trade offer, they can attempt to navigate his unhappiness. 

But again, those are perilous waters. Watson is the face of the franchise. It’s never a good look when such a player is desperate to leave. Ask the Houston Rockets about how things went with James Harden before he was traded. 

And so the saga continues. Watson is Houston’s quarterback. For now.  

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