On January 24, 2017, Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney told reporters “If they pass on Deshaun Watson, their passing on Michael Jordan”. He finished his college career completing 814 of 1,207 passes for 10,168 yards and 90 touchdowns with a 157.5 QBR. Watson ranked second in the nation in completions, third in passing yards, and third in touchdown passes. His 41 touchdown passes set an ACC record his final year at Clemson. Finishing his college career with an All-American and an ACC Player of the Year under his belt, the Top-5 rated QB heading into the 2017 NFL Draft was more than ready for the league.
The following NFL Draft the Texans were in search of their quarterback of the future. The team had the 25th overall pick in the first round but decided to trade up with the Cleveland Browns 12th overall pick. Trading up put them in prime position to draft Watson. With an offense that ranked 28th overall in the NFL after the 2016 season, and having a Top-5 wide receiver like Deandre Hopkins, didn’t sit well with ownership. Hopkins finished the 2016 season with 78 receptions for 954 yards and just four touchdowns, his lowest totals since his rookie season in 2013. Now with Watson, they were able to increase those numbers.
Over the next three seasons, the new Watson to Hopkins connection flourished. Over 38 games played between the two, QB1 in Houston finished 804 for 1,204 and 9,716, 71 touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 101 throwing to his number one wideout. Even though the team finished sub .500 his rookie year, they followed up with back-to-back double-digit winning seasons and two playoff appearances.
After the 2019 season, the team started to make some questionable moves. Trading their 3x First-Team All-Pro and 5x Pro Bowl wide receiver was a big question mark for a lot of people around the league from players, to fans, to sportswriters. Watson didn’t make it known, but you could tell the move began to make him frustrated with the organization.
Before the 2020 season began, both were in talks about a new contract extension and finally came to an agreement. Deshaun Watson signed a four-year, $177.5 million contract making it the second-biggest contract behind Patrick Mahomes. Even with him signing a big contract the team needed to make some serious improvements. The following season the team finished 4-12. Offensively, Watson had it under control leading the league in passing yards but what’s the point when your defense ranked 27th overall. JJ Watt even apologized to Watson about the team’s performance the past season after the 41-38 loss against the Tennessee Titans.
You would think JJ Watt requesting to be released early in the 2021 offseason was the final straw for Watson but not quite. On March 16, 2021, he began to get bombarded with sexual assault allegations over the next month resulting in 22 total allegations. The situation for the Texans QB looked to be getting out of hand. He even lost his Nike endorsement deal and Beats By Dre. Other brands have not planned on engaging with him for future business. With a disgruntled Watson, Houston must make a decision before the 2021 season. A lot of individuals around the NFL world think the team should trade him to a handle full of teams, the Broncos being one of them. So now you may ask, what is the future for the 3x pro bowler and 2020 passing yards leader and the Houston Texans?