Watson is still upset with the Texans over, among other issues, the process they used to hire general manager Nick Caserio, according to multiple sources, leading to widespread speculation that Houston could trade the star quarterback this offseason or be faced with the real possibility that he could decide to withhold his services and not report if he isn’t dealt.
It’s still early in the offseason, and Houston just hired Caserio and don’t even have a head coach, but the Texans know they have a problem with Watson.
One source told ESPN’s Sarah Barshop that the Texans have had internal conversations about possible trade partners and what their quarterback position would look like in the future without Watson.
On the day the Texans announced the hiring of Caserio, league sources told Schefter that Watson was not happy with the process because he “offered input on potential general manager candidates, but the Texans neither considered nor consulted with those endorsed by their franchise quarterback.”
Texans chairman Cal McNair said Friday that the organization wants Watson “in the loop and part of the process” as Houston searches for its next head coach, but sources believe it might be too late.
But Watson has implied his unhappiness with multiple tweets since Caserio’s hiring, although sources told ESPN that those feelings are not directed specifically at the former New England Patriots executive. Watson found out on social media, not from the team, that the Texans had hired Caserio, multiple sources told Schefter.
League sources also told Schefter earlier this month that after the Texans traded star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Watson’s anger level was “a 2. … This time, it’s a 10.”
On Friday, Watson tweeted, “I was on 2 then I took it to 10.”
I was on 2 then I took it to 10
— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) January 15, 2021
Less than 30 minutes later, Watson tweeted, “Future – Mo Reala vibes!” That song contains the lyrics, “I was on 2 then I took it to 10.”
Former Texans receiver Andre Johnson weighed in publicly this past week, tweeting that Watson should “stand his ground” and calling out executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby.
But a source close to Watson told Mortensen that firing Easterby would not resolve the issue, saying that “Cal McNair would have to fire Cal McNair.”
Watson has a no-trade clause in his five-year, $156 million deal with the Texans, and some team sources believe that the three-time Pro Bowler could force Houston’s hand into trading him. The no-trade clause would give Watson some control over where he is traded because if it wasn’t the destination he wanted, he could decline to report.
There is a growing consensus within the NFL, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, that Watson will force his way out, and the Texans believe he will command a high compensation package in a trade.
A source close to Watson told Mortensen that the Dolphins remain prominent as an acceptable landing spot because the quarterback likes the culture he has observed under Miami head coach Brian Flores and there are no state income taxes in Florida.
There are several franchises monitoring the events surrounding Watson if he becomes available on the trade market, league sources told Mortensen.
The Texans are seriously considering Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for their head-coaching vacancy, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Watson has advocated for Bieniemy in the past, and sources told Fowler that the Texans’ request to interview the Chiefs’ top assistant is not considered an empty one.
But Bieniemy, who was coaching the Chiefs’ offense in Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Browns, is not conducting any more interviews — even introductory Zoom calls with teams — until Kansas City’s postseason is complete.
Bieniemy also has not yet decided whether he will interview with the Texans, a source told Schefter.
Las Vegas Raiders CB Kemah Siverand arrested after street racing incident
HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Kemah Siverand, who was signed by the team to a futures contract last month after spending the second half of the 2020 season on the practice squad, was arrested early Saturday after a street racing incident in Houston, police announced Monday.
Officers stopped three of the five drivers, and Siverand, 24, was one of three drivers arrested. According to the Houston Police Department, Siverand was charged with felony evading arrest after he “initially stopped for officers, then continued to drive another mile before stopping.”
The Raiders did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Siverand, who was an undrafted rookie from Oklahoma State, was waived by the Seattle Seahawks in August after he was caught trying to sneak a woman into the team’s training camp hotel. She was wearing Seahawks gear in an effort to disguise herself as a player.
The Raiders signed Siverand to their practice squad on October 27 and to a futures contract on Jan. 5.
Sources — Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin tests positive for COVID-19
PITTSBURGH — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, sources told ESPN.
Tomlin, 48, was diagnosed last week. The Steelers could not confirm the head coach’s diagnosis but said members of the coaching staff and personnel were sent home from the facility last week after a couple of positives came up in routine testing.
Tomlin, who is set to enter his 15th season at the helm of the organization, is in good health, a source said.
The virus also affected the Steelers’ coaching staff during the season with then-quarterbacks coach Matt Canada and special-teams coordinator Danny Smith missing time due to COVID-19 protocols.
NFL Network first reported news of Tomlin’s diagnosis.
Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. says he won’t give up No. 11 to Carson Wentz
Colts second-year receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who currently wears No. 11, says he has talked to Wentz about the number, and the answer is no on a possible switch.
“I am number 11,” Pittman Jr. told TMZ Sports. “… I don’t think there’s any deal that is gonna be done.”
It’s not uncommon for players on new teams to try and buy their preferred jersey number for a large amount of money from one of their teammates.
The Colts agreed to acquire Wentz to be their new starting quarterback from the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 second-round pick that could turn into a first-round pick on Feb. 18.
Wentz wore No. 11 while at North Dakota State University and during his first five years with the Eagles.
“Yeah, so I spoke to [Carson] and he was just seeing how locked in I was to No. 11, and I told him I was locked in — and he was like, ‘That’s cool, bro, because I’m probably gonna switch anyway,'” Pittman Jr. told TMZ Sports. “… He asked me very respectfully, and I just appreciated him for that. I think he’s a great dude, because lots of guys with his status, they would come in and demand and stuff like that.”
Pittman Jr. wore No. 86 in college at USC, but switched to No. 11 after being drafted by the Colts.
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