Speaking for the first time since his introductory news conference, Houston Texans head coach David Culley reiterated in a video conference on Thursday that the team is committed to quarterback Deshaun Watson.
“We are very committed to Deshaun as our quarterback,” Culley said. “He is our quarterback. He’s the only guy we got under contract at this time, right now.”
Watson requested a trade less than six months after signing a four-year, $156 million contract extension that goes through the 2025 season. Watson’s trade request came after the quarterback was unhappy with the process used by the team to hire general manager Nick Caserio in January.
Watson has a no-trade clause, but given the length of his contract and the possibility of franchise-tagging him for three years, the Texans could choose not to trade him and would have control of his rights through the 2028 season.
When asked if the Texans are going to trade Watson, Culley said, “Deshaun Watson is a Houston Texan. And we’re committed to him.”
Culley said “as of right now, there is no contingency plan” if Watson chooses to sit out rather than play for Houston.
The Texans’ new head coach met with Watson over Zoom in mid-February, and the quarterback reiterated, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, that he never wants to play for Houston again. Culley declined to say what the two discussed, saying he wanted to keep that between him and Watson.
When asked if Watson was committed to the Texans in the same way Culley says the team is committed to the quarterback, Culley said, “Yes he is.”
After referencing the commitment the Texans made to Watson by signing him to a contract extension, Culley said, “I feel like that same commitment would be made to us [from Watson] also.”