(EDITOR’S NOTE: To access the John McClain interview fast-forward to 5:01 of the following attachment: Ep 41: Bud Adams, Andre Johnson, Deshaun Watson, and the Texans With John McClain | Spreaker)
The Houston Texans are a mess.
That’s not our opinion. It’s the opinion of someone who knows the team better than anyone outside the franchise itself, and that’s Hall-of-Fame voter John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. He’s covered the club since its inception in 2002 and is so wired into the organization that he often breaks news before it happens.
It’s only logical, then, that we went to him to get a pulse on his team, which we did on the latest “Eye Test for Two” podcast –asking him about the coach, the team, embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson, the upcoming draft and an uncertain future.
In a nutshell, we asked McClain why Houston fans should believe in the 2021 Texans.
“They don’t,” he said. “They won’t. They’re terrible.”
But it’s hard to argue. The team is coming off a 4-12 season. Watson wants out but is the target of 22 civil lawsuits and a criminal investigation by Houston police. The new coach has never been a head coach before … and he’s 65. There’s a new VP of football operations. There’s a new GM. The roster has been turned inside out and upside down. And the club doesn’t have a draft pick until the third round and 67th overall selection.
In short, it’s a dumpster fire waiting to happen. Check that: It’s a dumpster fire … period.
“This time next year,” said McClain, “there’s a good chance they could have the first pick in the draft. They’ve got to hope somebody like Joe Burrow or Zach Wilson develops next season in college that makes it an easy choice.
“Deshaun Watson, because of all his legal issues and because he wants to be traded, I don’t see him playing here. The plan was to trade him before the first day of the draft on April 29. Six teams were fiercely interested, (and) they were going to start negotiations sometime after April 1. They thought they could get three 1s, two 2s, a defensive starter in the line or at cornerback … and they might ask for more. Because when you have six teams bidding, no telling what you can get.
“You saw what the 49ers paid to move up to the third spot. What would they have done if they’d had a chance to get Deshaun Watson coming off a great season in every statistic, (he’s) 25 years old and under contract — $10.5 million this year — and under contract through 2025? Then he started with lawsuits, 22 as we record this. So I don’t think this will be settled anytime soon. Once this draft is over, and five teams take quarterbacks in the first round, they’re not going to get anywhere near what they thought they could get for him because of legal issues.”
Latest Texans News
- McClain: Texans’ Outlook So Bleak “They’ll Compete To Be The First 0-17 Team”
- Will Fuller Highlights Miami’s Official Free Agency Signings, Dolphins Round-Up
- Do the Houston Texans Actually Have a Plan?
- Fitzmagic Era Over in Miami
- AFC South: What Needs Fixing For Each Team in 2021?
Nevertheless, McClain is convinced the Texans still trade him. His reason: Why keep someone around, he said, who doesn’t want to be there and could be a distraction? The rebuttal, however, is that if the team capitulates, then new GM Nick Caserio sets a precedent … and he’ll have a line of disgruntled veterans lining up outside his door, looking to leave.
“I’ve had five people with other teams tell me they can’t trade Watson,” said McClain, “(because) they’re making it like the NBA where a few control the many. And I said to each of them, ‘It’s easy for you to say because you don’t need a quarterback.’ Well, it’s easy for anybody to say who’s not in this situation. As far as other players lining up and saying. ‘I want out,’ let ‘em.”
Bottom line: The Texans could be the league’s most dysfunctional organization in 2021, and McClain makes it painfully clear what to expect next: If you’re looking for Houston this season, go south. And don’t stop until you reach the bottom of the NFL standings.
“I look for this team to be terrible on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Right now the starting quarterback is Tyrod Taylor and the backup is Ryan Finley. Maybe they’ll compete to be the first 0-17 team.”