Texans are 'slowly moving on' from Deshaun Watson?
Deshaun Watson  Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans’ decision to sign veteran journeyman Tyrod Taylor earlier in the offseason wasn’t necessarily seen as a harbinger of things to come. The signing might have taken place amid star quarterback Deshaun Watson requesting a trade. But that’s pretty much the extent of it.

Fast forward a couple of months, and this is no longer the case. Fresh off using their first selection in the 2021 NFL Draft on former Stanford quarterback Davis Mills, it’s a firm belief around the league that the Texans are moving on from Watson, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (h/t Bleacher Report). Fowler said:

“Teams I’ve talked to around the league are taking notice that the Houston Texans seem to be slowly moving on from Deshaun Watson because they have their bridge quarterback in Tyrod Taylor and they have their developmental draft pick in Davis Mills, a quarterback I’m told they are very high on with his instincts, his smarts and his big arm.” 

This news comes amid the quarterback facing allegations of sexual misconduct, with more than 20 women having come forward in civil cases.

While the legal situation has yet to be settled in civil court, the Houston Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the allegations. Meanwhile, Roger Goodell and the NFL has opened its own investigation under the guise of the personal conduct policy.

Have the Texans shown their hand with Watson?

Without a selection in each of the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, Houston surprised the masses by taking Mills at the top of Round 3. While he’s seen as a project, you don’t use that type of draft capital on a quarterback you deem to be nothing more than a backup.

In addition to adding Taylor and Mills to the mix, these Texans traded for former Cincinnati Bengals fourth-round pick Ryan Finley. That’s three new quarterbacks in the mix months after new Houston general manager Nick Caserio pushed back against even the possibility of trading Watson. It could be that Houston is preparing for some action on the NFL’s end when it comes to Watson.

What’s next for Watson and the Texans?

It seems to be more than likely that Watson will be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list later this summer should the legal situation not come to a culmination in the near future. At this rate, there’s no reason to believe Watson’s legal team is going to settle out of court. That will lead to a drawn-out process.

Recent reports have indicated that Watson will likely be suspended by the NFL, even before the legal situation plays out in the Houston area. The league reserves the right to suspend a player without charges having been filed in criminal court or a guilty verdict. 

Should Watson be cleared of these allegations in time for the start of the 2021 NFL season, there’s now every reason to believe that the Texans will engage in trade discussions with teams. Said market could also be limited after interested teams in that of the San Francisco 49ers (Trey Lance), Chicago Bears (Justin Fields) and New England Patriots (Mac Jones) added quarterbacks in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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