Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has not heard from Deshaun Watson since it was reported the former Clemson star is unhappy with the situation in Houston and possibly wants to be traded.
Watson is reportedly upset with Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair regarding the hiring of new general manager Nick Caserio, who was New England’s director of player personnel. Watson was supposed to be more involved in who McNair hired and he was upset with the selection of Caserio, who has close ties to Texans executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby.
Swinney spoke with Sports Radio 610 out of Houston prior to Wednesday night’s Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards. He was asked for advice on how the Texans should deal with Watson.
“I would figure it out,” Swinney said. “First of all, I would hire a coach.”
The Texans are in the process of doing that, but who they bring in to coach the team will go a long way in determining Watson’s future in Houston.
“I don’t know the ends and outs and I have not heard Deshaun speak,” Swinney said. “Deshaun will speak for himself when it is time for him to speak. There are a lot of things that people hear, and a lot of things that get put out or whatever. But Deshaun is incredibly loyal. He is incredibly committed. He is incredibly smart and incredibly passionate about winning. But he will speak when he needs to speak.”
Last September, before the start of the regular season, Watson signed a four-year, $177.5 million extension with Houston that is supposed to keep the former first-round pick under contract through the 2025 season.
The Texans have already messed up twice when it comes to Watson. Last spring, they traded former Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona and now they hired a new general manager when McNair promised Watson he would have input on who they brought in.
The Texans fired Bill O’Brien, the old head coach and general manager, this past October.
“I know [Watson] is on vacation right now and is just kind of relaxing a little bit from the season,” Swinney said. “But the biggest thing is, he is the franchise. He is a great human being to go along with being a great quarterback. I would think they will figure out who is going to be the coach and certainly, I would think he would be involved in that or at least communicated with.
“That relationship, there is nothing more important than that. To be, the owner, the quarterback, the head coach, that alignment is critical. They will get it right. I am sure there are a lot of smart people involved and they will all figure it and come together and get some type of resolution to it and move forward.”
Despite Houston going 4-12 this past season, Watson led the NFL with 4,823 yards and had a career-high 33 touchdown passes.