Houston Chronicle

Watson rumors are show about nothing

- BRIAN T. SMITH Commentary

Wake me up when Deshaun Watson gets traded.

Or when the Texans’ franchise quarterbac­k publicly announces he wants to be the Texans’ franchise QB again.

Until then: Enough.

Zip it. Silence.

Let me sleep.

That’s what I really want to type, write and say almost 50 days into Watson versus the Texans in 2021.

But I’m not that dumb.

At some point soon, I’ll have to write another column about a stalemate that could last through September. Or November. Or into 2022, when we’ll apparently still be wearing masks while figuring out if the plants that froze last week will finally grow back.

Even though Nick Caserio has been the Texans’ general manager for almost two months, the freeze dividing Watson’s side and Kirby Drive’s side has only hardened.

Everyone knows Watson badly wants out.

Everyone also knows the Texans aren’t listening to trade offers for a 25-year-old QB who theoretica­lly can’t be replaced.

In the place of real, actual news detailing the unpreceden­ted haul the Texans will receive in return for D4 (or Watson backtracki­ng and recommitti­ng himself to the Kirby Way): theories. Hypothetic­als. Dreamt-up proposals, talk radio what-ifs and classic fake news.

The best thing about the internet: There is endless space.

The worst thing about the internet: There is endless space.

J.J. Watt fatigue used to be a real thing when the ex-Texan was so prevalent you couldn’t refresh Twitter, sift through Facebook or pick up a regional magazine without seeing old No. 99’s ridiculous­ly famous face on the cover

of something new.

I’m on the verge of already suffering from Watson-versus-the-Texans fatigue. Which is highly concerning when rememberin­g that if both sides keep digging in and speaking with silence, Watson’s “smartest” move is sitting out the entire 2021 season.

The Chronicle devotes stories to Watson tweeting vague song lyrics, so I’m definitely not taking the high-and-mighty route on this one.

Heck, I spent way too much time researchin­g a Watson story a couple weeks ago, then filled up an entire page in the Sunday Sports section basically saying what we already knew: No one knows where this battle is going, and the public story has mostly been mediadrive­n.

Since then?

It’s hard to get an exact count. But I roughly estimate there have been 500 stories written about Watson versus the Texans and 5 million tweets.

Which is kind of funny, considerin­g there still isn’t anything new to report. And from everything we currently know, the Texans won’t even return a phone call if 10 future first-round picks are offered for Watson’s football

rights.

Somewhere inside NRG Stadium there’s a red light blinking next to a telephone with 100 voice messages still waiting to be heard.

Maybe you changed the channel after Watt was released. Maybe you are obsessed with everything Watson related — Christian McCaffrey! New York Jets! Jimmy Garoppolo! Derek Carr! — and just can’t get enough of the photoshopp­ed uniforms, trademachi­ne configurat­ions, and Herschel Walker blockbuste­r comparison­s.

Monday was a beautiful weather day in Houston, so I’m not complainin­g.

But … I spent part of my morning reading another round of hypothetic­al Watson trade proposals before I just had to stop. Then while I was waiting in a slow drive-thru line to pay too much for average coffee, my ears were saturated with instant reactions to another round of hypothetic­al Watson trade proposals.

“A 7-for-1 deal. Running back Christian McCaffrey, quarterbac­k Teddy Bridgewate­r, receiver Robbie Anderson and first-round and second-round picks in 2021 (eighth and 39th overall), a first-round pick in 2022 and third-round pick in 2023 in exchange for Watson,” longtime NFL writer Peter King wrote for NBC Sports.

Throw in Steve Smith, Jake Delhomme, Steve Beuerlein and John Fox, and the Carolina Panthers just might have a deal.

The Texans could also swap Jack Easterby for Sir Purr and save NFL America a ton of wasted free time.

Is Caserio annoyed by all of the endless noise?

Laughing randomly, daily, as another absurd rumor pops up on his phone?

“Hey, Cal and Jack: You won’t believe this (stuff ) I just read. It’s hilarious!”

You could power a generator with the drivel devoted to Watson speculatio­n since his frustratio­n with the Texans was intentiona­lly leaked in early January.

But here’s the thing and what everybody knows: Watson is the story in sports right now, even with nothing going on.

Until the real news finally arrives, Watson versus the Texans will dominate everything.

It’s refreshing to say wake me up when Watson gets traded or plays for the Texans again.

But when one player’s future is this important to the Texans and the rest of the unpredicta­ble NFL landscape, everything matters. Even when almost all of it is fake.

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 ?? Brett Coomer / Staff photogher ?? Deshaun Watson has avoided addressing his situation directly like it was a defensive player trying to sack him.
Brett Coomer / Staff photogher Deshaun Watson has avoided addressing his situation directly like it was a defensive player trying to sack him.

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