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Texans Hire David Culley as Head Coach

The Houston Texans have hired David Culley as their new head coach, as reported by ESPN, confirming a report by the Houston Chronicle.

Culley, 65, had been with the Baltimore Ravens for two years as assistant head coach, wide receivers coach, and passing game coordinator. The Ravens were 17th in pass offense DVOA in 2020 after ranking first in 2019.

Prior to joining the Ravens, Culley spent two years as quarterbacks coach with the Buffalo Bills. (This means he has worked with Tyrod Taylor, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson, so he has experience working with mobile quarterbacks, which could be relevant if Deshaun Watson is still there next year.) Culley also has experience as a wide receivers coach with the Chiefs, Eagles, Steelers, Buccaneers, and several college teams. 

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79 comments, Last at 14 Feb 2021, 1:26pm

47 Having just read Rivers…

Having just read Rivers recent article about the hiring: https://www.riversmccown.com/2021/01/28/hiring-david-culley-is-jack-easterbys-crowning-achievement-in-keeping-himself-empowered/ 

I have one small issue with it, mainly this quote "Jack Easterby knows how to play front office politics, and Cal McNair doesn’t. Once they are indebted to you for making the drop, you are safe. Eric Bieniemy would have taken less than two months to can Easterby."  Rivers is assuming Caserio will not turn on Easterby later on, but going by what happened with the Jets (MacCagnan gets Gase hired, Gase gets MacCagnan hired and then Douglas is hired, and now a year and a half later Douglas is running everything and Gase is unemployed again), it's entirely possible that Caserio is competent and will outlast Easterby.  If Cal McNair picks Easterby over Caserio a year from now, well then the Texans really will be the worst franchise in sports.  Right now, I'd consider the Knicks (Dolan is just pathetic).

6 On a more serious note. If…

On a more serious note. If the qualities of a HC are more about being a good manager and CEO, then perhaps this hire isn't terrible. Jon Harbaug and Mike Tomlin weren't hired for their playcalling prowess.

Now, if Watson demands a trade, this will be a terrible job if it isn't already. But I don't mind the hire.

8 Let's flip it this way.  How…

Let's flip it this way.  How many NFL HC interviews has Culley had over the years?  This is honestly the first time that I've heard about him as a HC candidate.  The Houston job might be the worst one in the league.  I don't think that any of the popular candidates wanted it after the Watson news came out.  Here's the situation: Watson (best player on the team) wants a trade, Watt is likely leaving, weird front office politics, lots of leaks to the press, bad owner, little draft capital, roster holes all over the place.  While I am happy that Culley is getting a chance, this looks like a no-win situation since Houston is probably cleaning house, they'll lose a lot of games during the next few years because of the inability to improve the team, and he won't be around when it might begin to turn around in a few years.

In case people wonder why Bienemy is likely being choosy with his HC candidacy, it's to avoid situations like this.

27 I imagine that HC candidates…

I imagine that HC candidates who interview often have an easier time assembling a good coaching staff.  Culley is the latest HC hired this cycle.  I imagine that some of the people he'd like to hire have already found new jobs.

9 I think head coaches from…

I think head coaches from good coordinators is a huge mistake.  One the the best things about harbaugh is that he has had many different offensive coordinators, and several different defensive coordinators during his tenure.  When the offense didn't work, they could move on without also losing their head coach and working relationships or their defensive coordinator. 

For example, Vance Joseph was a pretty good coach for Denver as a defensive mind.  But he was terrible at in-game management which cost several wins.  So he was fired and replaced with Vic Fangio, who also seems to run a great defense (if you look at 2020 numbers it looks bad, but the injury chart from Denvers D 2020 is unreal), and also is terrible at in-game management which has cost several wins over his tenure. The problem with firing him would be that it resets the defense (the teams strength), you might lose some players who don't fit scheme, probably lose the offensive coordinator and have scheme issues there. 

The best coach might very well be an offensive or defensive mastermind, but I would rather hire a head coach who can motivate players, teach players, run meetings and practices well, and master in-game strategy and communication.  Then work with him to hire good coordinators and create stability.  Also, hiring someone who will not be coaching the team in 10 years it makes a lot of sense to hire someone who might not have a strong scheme preference.

All in all, I think this is probably the type of head coach hire I would like my team to make.  I don't know that he will be great, but I think this is a good approach.

76 It wasn't confusing.  He's…

It wasn't confusing. 

He's saying that hiring a Head Coach primarily on being a good offensive coordinator is a bad idea, because it generally ties you to one offensive scheme because it is part of the head coach's identity, and often means you end up with a coach who can't properly delegate. 
 

IE, being a coordinator is a very different job than being a head coach. Its a bit like turning your most productive programmer into a manager. 

10 He's 63 years old, same as…

He's 63 years old, same as Andy Reid.  Maybe you get 10 years out of him.  Watson better be ok with this or the Texans messed up big time.

Harbaugh was still a coordinator, just a special teams coordinator.  Tomlin was a defensive coordinator for a year.  Culley was an assistant head coach for the last two years, so there's that.  However, he was the quarterback coach for Josh Allen when he wasn't good, and the wide receivers coach for the Ravens this past year, when Lamar Jackson's options were not impressive, to say the least.

20 Harbaugh had switched to DB coach in 2007

Harbs last season in Philly, he was no longer spec teams coordinator.  He asked Andy Reid and/or Jim Johnson to swtich him over to a track that he thought might be a better path to a HC job.  He was DB coach that last season in Philly. 
(Played DB in college.)

11 I'll post this here instead…

I'll post this here instead of the Watson thread because this is a newer one involving the Texans.  Over the Cap posted an article about trading star quarterbacks and the costs therein: https://overthecap.com/exploring-the-costs-of-trading-star-qbs-in-2021/

Jason Fitzgerald pointed out that trading Watson now would increase his cap hit to 21 million this year, when the Texans are over the cap already.  There's absolutely no reason for the Texans to trade him, and every reason not to.  I'm doubting he gets traded after seeing that.

17 No reason to trade him??? You're nuts.

Well, if the Texans are going to suck for a couple of years regardless, which they are, they correct play is to trade him.  Take the cap hit now, do whatever gymnastics are necessary to get under the cap, and rebuild with youth.

 

The other option is to have a disinterested quarterback who may decide not to play.  If that asset is worth multiple 1st round picks and good young players, you'd be silly not to trade it.

 

Just yesterday I had a discussion with my son on the expression "Cut of one's nose to spite one's face".  It would be management malpractice to not trade Watson on principle.

22 Even without that data, I…

Even without that data, I agree. The Texans hold all the cards here. It would take an extremely motivated (and angry) Watson to claw his way out of there. My money is on it not happening.

Now, if this tension drags into next year, we'll see.

36 All Watson has to do is…

All Watson has to do is nothing, show up in Week 10, get hurt in his first practice, and sandbag it.

Watson has plenty of leverage.  More, in fact than the Texans, whose only card is to not trade him out of spite and make themselves a non-destination for other players, as well as continue to hurt their on-field product.  But hey -- at least they didn't give in to a trade demand from an unhappy former face-of-the-franchise.

There is literally no positive outcome for the Texans to be gained by not trading Watson.

37 You're forgetting human nature

Anyone who thinks the Texans hold all the cards obviously didn't watch James Harden play for the Houston Rockets last month. A really pissed off athlete drags down a whole team. He can show up but put in minimal work. Even skipping the "voluntary" workouts make a point. He's a new coach. When the rest of your team and media are more concerned about your star player than what may happen with your team, you've already lost the locker room before your first game. That's a lot of clout. 

38 The NBA is completely…

The NBA is completely different.  LeBron has power Mahommes, who may end up being better in his sport, can only dream of.

That said, apparently Watson asked for a trade after my early morning post (I live on the West Coast with a very loud Siamese cat).  The Texans will very well need to trade him.  This will not be helping their cap situation for a couple of years though, which was the point of my post.

I might add that Terry Glenn did the same thing as Harden during embattled coach Belichick's 2nd season in New England.  It worked out well for Belichick, New England and Tom Brady.  It did not work out well for Glenn.

40 That's ancient history

Terry Glenn played for the Pats almost 20 years ago. That's ancient history in the NFL. He was also suspended for drug issues that year along with other discipline problems. He was also a WR, a less-important position (though with no shortage of divas). 

14 Huh? I'm sure he's a good…

Huh? I'm sure he's a good guy and a fine manager, but the Ravens passing game was basic in 2019 and downright remedial in 2020, with the failure to develop WRs a big reason for that. Looks like Brandin Cooks and Fuller are gonna learn to run block for David Johnson!

They turned down Eberflus and Frazier for the job? And interviewed Josh McCown? What the heck? 

Ravens getting two 3rd rounders for letting him go is a pretty sweet deal though.

23 Is that accurate?

The Ravens passing offense was #1 in DVOA in 2019, and #17 in 2020, despite losing their All-Pro LT and constantly scrambling the three right-hand spots on the OL.  Also despite Lamar missing one game and several weeks of practive to covid.

On tape, Miles Boykin improved in 2020 over 2019, though it didn't show up on the stat sheet.  Lamar seems allergic to throwing to him, which is maddening.  Marquise Brown went thru a terrible stretch in November where he just could not catch the ball, but rebounded to look like a good player in December.  Of the rest of the corps, Snead missed three games with covid, and had an ankle late in the year.  The other two guys were later-round rookies (3rd and 7th), flashed a little but didn't get much opportunity.  Low volume to WRs, but that seems to be the scheme.

Lamar himself on tape looked like he took several steps back with his mechanics and field-reading.  But it's hard to know how to weight that, given the OL issues early and the covid late.

 

 

24 Weeeeell....Watson wants a…

Weeeeell....Watson wants a trade now

To others points - I am not sure what leverage Watson has other than to make the optics look bad. The Texans can control him for 3 more years plus in theory can franchise tag him multiple years thereafter(though the cap hit would be extremely painful). 

The collective bargaining agreement allows teams to fine players for missing camp and holding out. An interesting side bar - Zach Lowe said that the NBA has a similar ability but none of the teams would ever do it because they fear it would poison their reputation with future free agents. This is why the cross town Rockets didn't say a word when Harden partied before finally joining the team.

If I am the Texans, I would not trade Watson. You eat an enormous cap hit and you are unlikely to find a player as good as Watson. Watson is the second most valuable player in the NFL in terms of current value and expected future value. 

25 No one said that he has to…

No one said that he has to play football for Houston.  Players who don't play have zero value (negative value when you consider the cap implications).  Not sure why this is such a difficult concept for people to understand. 

26 Ok sure...but

Is Watson really not going to play? He can get fined every day and if he retires, he's leaving a ton fo cash on the table - including having to pay back some of his signing bonus. 

28 He can do the bare minimum…

In reply to by theslothook

He can do the bare minimum to earn service time against his pension.  What value does a player have to a team if he misses the entire offseason, all of the preseason, and a good chunk of the regular season?  How many games is he going to help you win in that scenario?

Trent Williams didn't report until about week 8 or 9 in 2019 (link).  He didn't play for them at all in 2019 and, in fact, he never played for the WFT again before being traded to SF.  The WFT would've gotten a lot more for him if they had just traded him before the 2019 season.

32 Not to mention

Watson is a more valuable player with a NTC who has made enough $ to pay whatever trivial fines.

The longer Houston waits the more his contract tolls and teams will 100% use against them. 

34 It also hurts his brand not…

It also hurts his brand not to be playing. Are you going to continue ring endorsements while not playing and holding out? 

Unless a team is offering a huge bounty, I'd rather call Watson's bluff, or more practically, try to patch things up with Watson. Let him know that hes not going to be traded and you will do what you can do ensure you build a good team around him. 

Ultimately, the Texans were going to stick with Watson and without him. If he sits, they collect a better draft pick. Eventually he is going to cave.

41 Your comment is not…

Your comment is not supported by facts.  You are aware that Jamal Adams was under 4 years of team control with the Jets (2 years left on his rookie deal plus 2 years of the franchise tag) when he demanded a trade last year, right?  Despite the Jets having a lot of leverage, he managed to complain his way out of NY in short order over the summer before training camp started.

44 They got a kings ransom for…

They got a kings ransom for Jamal. If the Jets lost leverage, it certainly did not show up in the trade details. 

I maintain, the Texans can keep him for 5 additional years. If he wants to pout, go ahead. This isn't 2 years left or 1 year left. If he wants to effectively throw away his career, thats his choice. The Texans cane ensure that happens. That's why I say they have all the leverage.

The optics will get ugly. The on field performance will too. The latter is likely to happen anyway if you trade Deshawn Watson for a pittance. 

49 That's my point.  NYJ had…

That's my point.  NYJ had him under control for 4 years (remember, the franchise tag means that the player can't go anywhere else unless you let him) and they still made the trade.  And all Adams wanted was an extension 1 year earlier than NYJ would've wanted.  On the other hand, Houston has committed numerous fireable offenses.  As numerous posters have stated, Houston has zero leverage here since they cannot compel Watson to do more than the bare minimum to stay employed.  That bare minimum is worse than not having him on the roster at all.

50 I agree with this. I guess…

I agree with this. I guess my point was if I were to run the Texans I wouldn't trade Watson. Having time on my side allows me the chance to smooth over hard feelings and try to sell him on a better future. 

Obviously the Texans would have avoided this disaster they had just listened to common Sense in the first place but that's not where we are now. 

I guess I should therefore clarify by saying, there's what I would do if I were the Texans and then there is what the Texans should do given that they are the Texans

52 Got it.  Personally, I would…

Got it.  Personally, I would trade him. He put up borderline MVP numbers this year.  The team still stunk because of talent deficiencies across the board.  Today, those deficiencies can't be remedied easily since they lack draft picks and their cap situation stinks.  Even with Watson, this is a 2+ year rebuild.  Positively, they can get an above replacement QB plus badly needed draft picks in return.  The QB can ensure that they don't completely bottom out while they retool. 

43 His contract doesn't require…

His contract doesn't require him to study his new playbook.  No QB can be effective without knowing the playbook.

His contract doesn't require him to lead otas, and no qb can be fully effective without some off-season communication (even if it's unsanctioned).

His contract doesn't require him to play hurt.  Every football player gets hurt.  Want him to refuse to play until healed from his first hit of the season? 

He can show up to training camp, basically not participate ( ala Melvin Ingram) leave in the first game on his first hit and insist he's too hurt to play. Then houston has to pay every penny of his signing bonus prorated for 2021 and every dollar of his p5 salary for nothing.  Teams protect themselves from this type of stuff by unspoken commitment by owners not to hire players who do this, and/or cut players who do.  He would love to get cut, and teams will surely be reaching out to Houston by now, so if the league tried to kaepernick him he'd win a lawsuit of truly epic proportions.

Houston has absolutely no leverage here.  They are screwed.

45 Sure he could do that if he…

Sure he could do that if he wanted. They could also sue him for breach of contract. They can fine him if he doesn't show up.

Yes all of this could happen. It could devolve into a circus. If i were the Texans and I inherited this mess. I would take the following strategy. Make it clear to Deshawn. We want you here. We wont ever get equal value for you. Work with us because we aren't trading you. Even if the year is lost, we will still not trade you. We will make sure it goes the full length and then some. 

I doubt he lets the circus go on for 4 years. Yes its painful. Circuses are terrible. But guess what? Losing a franchise qb is a disaster. 

53 It sure sounds like Watson…

It sure sounds like Watson is past the tipping point, so telling him "you're not going anywhere, let's be friends again" is not going to work.  I'll give you the names of a dozen divorce lawyers if you'd like confirmation.

Given that, the Texans have really two choices, well three, if you include cutting him, but that's not realistic:

a) Refuse to trade Watson.  Force him into de facto retirement.  Get no value from your best asset for five years,  Have the NFLPA and every agent advise players not to sign with Houston, because they're horribly run and will ruin your career -- remember that the owner has called players "inmates" in the recent past.  Basically become the AFC South version of the Bengals.

b) Trade Watson.  Receive value that you can put back into your product as opposed to nothing.  Improve your team, which is hopefully at least a secondary goal to ownership.

Honestly, if the Texans best trade offer is a 1st round pick, a 4th round pick, and the trading team's starting quarterback, they should take it.  Frankly, if their best offer is just the 4th round pick, they should still take it.  Getting Watson out of the organization will have significant value in itself.  Admit your mistake, swallow hard, make the trade and vow to be better at this management thing -- perhaps by not allowing the up-jumped, resume-fluffed, team Chaplain to make personnel and business decisions.

55 I'll point out that your…

I'll point out that your point for A) doesn't take it as far as it would go.  If/when the nflpa and agents abandon a team, the team will be forced to fire enough of their senior management to convince the players they will change.  So the coach, GM,and potentially owner all have reasons to avoid this.  I am not sure that the nflpa would consolidate around Watson, but considering "inmates"... and that the team would be sidelining one of its top 5 Black players, I could see a surprising amount of solidarity with him.

So ya... if Houston cannot get Watson to agree to come back, they need to beg him to approve their best trade offer.

 

56 Here's the thing: you can't…

Here's the thing: you can't just take Watson's word for it. Watson can say right now he won't come back, but until he actually starts staying away from team activities (whenever they actually do resume, which won't be very soon) and holding out until whatever week he needs to report, we won't know how serious he is about going to battle with the Texans. There's such a thing as a bluff.

If it were as simple as saying "trade me", players would be in total control of their careers. We know for a fact it isn't so.

57 I would also say, it takes a…

I would also say, it takes a certain kind of player who is willing to ramp up the toxicity to such a degree that the team is forced to trade him. TO and AB come to mind immediately. I don't think Watson has the personalities that they do. 

I guess we are all speculating, but Watson strikes me as a guy who loves his teammates and is the ultimate competitor. Once the season was truly lost, if Watson wanted to, I bet he could have found himself on injured reserve and sat out the remaining season. I mean, he's got his huge contract what purpose does playing out a lost season serve other than for stats. Unless he cares about his teammates, loves football, and is a total competitor. It strikes me that such a player is unlikely to turn rogue even if we have all the sympathy in the world if he does. 

59 We are all speculating.  And…

We are all speculating.  And it's possible that the situation isn't as toxic as is being reported.  But if the well is poisoned....

It seems like, and again, just reading the tea leaves of what's been reported, that, at minimum, ownership is going to have to make a decision between Easterby and Watson.  And I don't think McNair is going to side with the player.

It's also possible that Watson just doesn't want to spend the next few years as a one-man-show for a hopelessly lost franchise, and might seek the Carson Palmer retirement strategy.  If the contract terms I just read are correct, the Texans could ask for 16.2 million back in signing bonus.  If Watson's willing to forego that, it's a viable option.  At that point the Texans would be well advised to trade his rights, but they'd get much more back if they trade him before that. 

Perhaps they should ask Watson to re-jigger his contract to lessen the cap hit associated with trading him, but I don't know if the NFLPA rules allow it.

Who knows?  Maybe, as someone above said, this is all a big bluff.  If it is, though, I don't understand it.  I seriously doubt he's holding out for more money or a bigger contract.  I doubt he's bluffing in order to get management to acquire more good players to be as miserable as he reportedly is.  So what is he bluffing in order to get the team to acquiesce to?  I don't see it.

54 The Texans have no path to…

The Texans have no path to competitiveness this year or next, so what does it matter if Watson's playing? Who cares if you go 5-11 or 2-14? If he wants to spend two years getting paid to do nothing (which he really doesn't - that's not in his nature) and that's what it takes to generate a fair return in a trade, so be it.

61 If all offers are terrible…

If all offers are terrible lowballs, then that makes some sense.  But let's say the Jets offer their 2021 1st and 3rd round picks and Darnold, and that's the best offer, I think it makes more sense for the Texans to do that than have Watson not playing for two years with nothing to show for it.

If the Texans come out and say something like "We're not trading him for anything less than 2 firsts and 2 seconds" (and they mean it), I think it's a big mistake.

63 That's a great trade if you…

That's a great trade if you agree with Todd McShay that Watson is barely better than Darnold.  Sorry, I'm having visions of Todd McShay in Evil Dead 2 trying to figure out if the furniture is laughing with him or at him.

70 Oh...it's not a great trade …

Oh...it's not a great trade (for the Texans), or even a fair-value one.  My only point is if that's the best one they can make, they should make it, assuming the alternative is that Watson holds out for as long as he can under the CBA, and then be a general PITA afterwards.

78 You'll never get anything…

You'll never get anything out of a negotiation if you aren't actually willing to go with your BATNA. The goal isn't to sit him for years; the goal is to generate the greatest possible trade value. But the strategy requires you to go through with the benching if that's what it takes - or at least pretend extremely convincingly that you're willing to.

35 Its also interesting to see…

Its also interesting to see how much value it's worth forking over for Watson. Its easy maybe correct to say no price is too high. Fork over 4 first rounders. That all sounds great until you realize you have to build a team around him or you become the Texans. 

The teams with the cleanest path therefore are teams with multiple first rounders already. Thats the Jets, Dolphins and Jags. The Jags won't happen. I think the Jets make the most sense.

46 I agree with this, but will…

I agree with this, but will note - Watson has a no trade clause.  He can veto any trade he thinks will cripple his new team too much, and continue this until he's happy.  It's somewhat unlikely, and could be hard for him to pull off, but he has surprising leverage to avoid ruining the team he goes to

48 That's the thing. What is…

That's the thing. What is the equilibrium value in this situation? Two first rounders isnt crippling but its terrible return for the Texans and an embarrassment. They gave up for more Jeremy Freakin Tunsil. 

Theres also the cap pain from trading Watson. I get it, the Texans are in a self created disaster. But if I am basically broke but I still own a store that generates income, I'll sell everything else before I sell the only good thing left in my life. If I am the Texans, I'd rather ride out a bad circus environment than part ways with the best thing to happen to my franchise for what amounts to not even pennies on the dollar - more like pesos on the dollar. 

51 Two thoughts: -Players can…

Two thoughts:

-Players can absolutely create a situation so toxic and destabilizing for the team that they relent and trade or release at a significant cost and/or embarrassment. Brett Favre created a situation so bad for the Packers they tried to pay him $20 million to stay retired! And the 3rd round pick they got from the Jets was well below his value. The Steelers were happy to deal Antonio Brown for way less than his market value; the Raiders cut him before he ever played a game! The Eagles released TO and he signed with their biggest rival. This can come at a cost to the player, too, but...

-Right now the coverage is extremely sympathetic to Watson, so he doesn't even have to be a malcontent. And the Texans are getting dragged in the media, including in their hometown media, which is way more likely to be dangerous their bottom line (and we're still in a pandemic). Hell, what does the locker room think of the organization right now? They might be embarrassed if they walk away with only 2 first rounders or 2 firsts + whatever, but at least they can move on at that point. They'll definitely at least try to patch things up with Watson first, but if he's adamant about a trade, things could absolutely be worse for them if they hold him hostage.

60 Easterby

Trying to figure out which of the comments on here is from Easterby's burner.

64 The plot thickens

Apparently Coach Culley believed that Watson would be the quarterback next year when he interviewed and accepted, and has not contemplated an alternative situation.  That's either supreme confidence or extreme hubris.  Good luck!  And, sorry, Rivers.

66 Or he's lying.  What would…

Or he's lying.  What would you expect Houston to say?  "We're trading him by the second day of the league year at the latest..."  The best way to at least maintain the appearance of leverage is to state that he's not going anywhere to make it seem that you have to twist Houston's arm to get them to agree to a trade.  The fact that Watson has likely not spoken to Culley or Caserio at all suggests that he's gone.

65 I just read Rivers' piece on…

I just read Rivers' piece on Culley. The quotes about him as a coach were harrowing, particularly when they asked for an opinion of him as a coach, they kept getting the same bland answer about what a great person he is.

69 I read that, too. Boy, does…

I read that, too. Boy, does it sure sound as Easterby's type. Great person, can't coach. But the most gruesome part, to me, was the video where Easterby says his favorite sport was seeing Christ "compete" on the cross for six hours. What kind of sick person says that?

72 There's another entity that…

There's another entity that needs to be considered in gaming this out, and that is the League itself. More specifically, the cadre of 31 owners, who have worked meticulously to ensure that people are fans of teams first and individual players a distant second, and who allow only a specific, miniscule number of players to become household-name superstars (and Watson isn't yet anywhere near that list). I'm certain there are owners who literally would die before they let the NFL become like the NBA, where even second-tier stars know a new team is just a public hissy fit away.

They will lean hard on McNair to, at the very least, not let this end up with Watson "winning" in the eyes of the public. To me, that essentially precludes any trade before the season starts and he actually holds out, even if the return is objectively excellent. Like, the 6 first-round picks wouldn't be enough. The only way he moves in the offseason is if a big name comes back (like Roethlisberger or something, not that that would ever happen, even if it makes some sense, come to think of it...).

I predict the Texans will generally act like there hasn't been a trade demand, and then make a move that superficially improves the team to make him happy. Trade for Julio Jones or something. Now it looks like they're trying to improve (and they are, if short-sightedly), and hopefully that appeases him - and if it doesn't, it makes him look unreasonable. If he really is holding out into week 4 or so, then they trade him - to some crap team that's going nowhere and commands little media attention (like Goff and some picks for Watson, which even makes sense on a football level!). If anything is more important to ownership than winning or even short-term profits, its holding this line (and lest we forget, this particular owner is the son of the man who likened players expressing themselves briefly and nonverbally to "inmates running the prison" - I can only imagine what the old man would've thought of this. And something tells me this particular apple didn't fall too far from that tree.).

75 Of course it's going to be…

Of course it's going to be like this, it's how it's always been. I don't now why people are acting like it's a players league all of a sudden. The only caveat to what you said is it's not the other 31 teams leaning on the Texans, it's the Texans knowing, like every team knows, that if they look too weak, then the players will know they can demand a trade whenever and have it their way.

A lesser player might even be released at an inconvenient time for him, but a superstar like Watson, of course they're not bowing to his wishes without a fight. Like you said, we'll see where the lines stand next offseason. That's the earliest I can see a trade happening.

77 I agree the NFL is far from…

I agree the NFL is far from a players league. But we see how far it goes in the other direction with the NBA.

 

Take Watson's cross sports counterpart James Harden. He basically engineered all of the decisions Houston made. and when the team was breath of assets and clearly no longer a contender, forced his way out of there at the drop of a hat.

I think having a players league sounds great until you realize the NBA is a mercenary league for all the great players want to play together and they all want to play in big markets. That's fantastic if you're a Lakers fan, but pointless if you're a fan of all these other teams.

 

Imagine how the NFL would look if everybody wanted to go to the Cowboys or the Giants.

79 Another data point: Lions and Matthew Stafford

I read a second-hand account today of Matthew Stanford’s farewell to Detroit interview with Mitch Albom. Stafford told Albom that he had been very impressed with Jim Caldwell when he (Stafford) met with Caldwell as part of the interview process when Caldwell was hired.

So, apparently, it’s not out of bounds for an NFL team to involve its franchise quarterback in the process of selecting a head coach.  Also apparently, the Texans < the Lions as a franchise.  Sorry Rivers.