HOUSTON (AP) — Star quarterback Deshaun Watson has requested a trade from the Houston Texans, according to a person familiar with the move. The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity.
Watson has a no-trade clause in his four-year, $156 million contract, so he could have some control over where he might be dealt.
A source told The Associated Press on Wednesday night that the Texans had hired David Culley as their new coach to replace Bill O’Brien, who was fired after an 0-4 start and replaced by interim head coach Romeo Crennel.
The same source who told The AP about the trade request said Watson made the request before Culley’s hire. He has been unhappy with the direction of the team for some time. Sports Illustrated reported weeks ago that Watson was upset the team didn’t initially request to interview Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (bee-EN’-uh-mee) for its coaching vacancy.
The Texans eventually interviewed Bieniemy, as well as Indianapolis defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Buffalo assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Detroit coach Jim Caldwell, former Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis and Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady before landing on Culley — the only African American among the seven head coaches hired this offseason.
Watson, a three-time Pro Bowler, wasn’t just disgruntled about the way Houston went about its coaching search. He was also upset that owner Cal McNair did not take his opinion into account when hiring general manager Nick Caserio, according to reports from ESPN and the NFL Network.
The Texans, who had years of woes at quarterback before drafting Watson, don’t want to part with the talented 25-year-old who led the NFL in yards passing this season. But so far they have been unable to change his mind about his desire to leave.