Joe Schoen is "really excited" to help Daniel Jones "put his best foot forward", with the New York Giants set to stick with their quarterback after ruling out a Deshaun Watson trade.

Schoen has been hired as the new Giants general manager and has plenty of work to do to make the team challengers once more.

The former Buffalo Bills assistant GM will at least be able to name his own head coach, with Joe Judge out after a 4-13 2021 season, but he may not have the same flexibility elsewhere. The Giants are over the salary cap for 2022.

As Schoen attempts to operate on a budget, he will not immediately be looking for an upgrade under center.

Having been a surprise selection with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jones initially impressed with 24 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in 13 games (12 starts) in his rookie year.

The quarterback has since struggled to build on that performance, however, tossing only 21 TD passes across the past two seasons combined.

Many would suggest it is time for the Giants to move away from Jones, but Schoen, it seems, would rather work to get the best out of a 24-year-old who threw an accurate, well-thrown pass with 80.3 per cent of his attempts this season.

That mark ranked ahead of three of the four quarterbacks still alive in the playoffs; Joe Burrow's 86.5 per cent led the league (minimum 100 attempts).

"I've looked at Daniel," Schoen said as he met the media in his new role on Wednesday – with Jones in attendance.

"Once the new staff gets in here, we're going to get together – offensive coordinator, head coach, the entire staff – dive into the film as a group and look at what Daniel does best, and we're going to try to allow him to put his best foot forward.

"I've looked at him. I wasn't here in the past, so I don't exactly know what he was told to do, but I do know this: I know he's a great kid.

"He's been in this building the last two days. I've talked to him. There's not anybody in this building that's said a bad word about his work ethic, passion, desire to win, and I think you've got to have those traits as a quarterback.

"The kid has physical ability. He's got arm strength, he's athletic, he can run. I'm really excited to work with Daniel.

"Again, when the new staff gets in here, we'll build an offense around Daniel to accentuate what he does best."

Jones also has the backing of Giants co-owner John Mara, who accepted the team had "done everything possible to screw this kid up".

And Mara assured there would be no move for wantaway Houston Texans QB Watson.

Watson pushed for a trade before the 2021 season and instead spent the year on the sideline as the subject of police and NFL investigations into sexual assault and misconduct allegations, facing 22 civil lawsuits.

"We're not trading for Deshaun Watson," Mara said. "There are so many reasons why we wouldn't do that.

"Cap-wise, we couldn't afford it, but more importantly with the allegations that are out there right now, that's just not the right fit for us."

Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said the franchise did their "due diligence" regarding a trade for wantaway Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson before opting not to make a deal.

The Dolphins were reportedly favourites to land Watson before Tuesday's NFL deadline as the three-time Pro Bowler was believed to have been willing to waive his no-trade clause.

It sparked uncertainty over the future of second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa, however, a trade for Watson did not materialise.

Grier was asked about Miami's interest in Watson – who is yet to play this season – on Wednesday and he told reporters midweek: "We never got to a point where anything was going to be realistic in terms of happening.

"It was still us just doing our due diligence, just talking through things. We never got to a point where anything was that close to happening."

Topping 4,000 yards for the second time in his career as he racked up 4,823 to lead the league, Watson threw for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

Fifth in the NFL in air yards per attempt (9.27), according to Stats Perform data, Watson did an excellent job of balancing his aggression with smart decision-making.

Watson threw a pickable pass on just 2.28 per cent of his attempts, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL last term.

This season, Tagovailoa has 103 completions for 1,040 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in five games.

"I don't think it's any different than any player on the roster, honestly," Grier said. "Because if there's a player available around the league that's viewed as being one of the top players in the league at any position, I think you look at it and try to go for it.

"We're very happy with Tua. We think he's developing well. Brian has been very consistent with his message, and we have been as well.

"He's working hard, he's showing a lot of improvement and we think he'll continue to develop and be the player he should be."

Watson will remain in Houston until at least the end of the season and Texans GM Nick Caserio added: "The veracity of some of what has been reported is a little bit stretched. But that's just the nature of how these things work.

"There were various levels of discussions, specific to him and specific to other players as well. In the end, there was no trade that came to fruition, so I don't really have any comment about some of the logistics and the mechanics about what happened and what hasn't happened, what did happen."

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will remain on the team's roster until the end of the season after the disgruntled star was not traded before Tuesday's NFL deadline.

Watson was on the tracking block after requesting a move from the Texans in January as the three-time Pro Bowler faces 22 civil lawsuits that remain unresolved as the NFL conducts its own investigation into sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him.

The Miami Dolphins were reportedly favourites to land Watson, who was believed to have waived his no-trade clause, while the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles had also been interested.

But Watson – who has been inactive during the 2021 season – is staying put after an agreement was not reached prior to the deadline.

Topping 4,000 yards for the second time in his career as he racked up 4,823 to lead the league, Watson threw for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

Fifth in the NFL in air yards per attempt (9.27), according to Stats Perform data, Watson did an excellent job of balancing his aggression with smart decision-making.

Indeed, the 26-year-old threw a pickable pass on just 2.28 per cent of his attempts, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL last term.

Tua Tagovailoa says he is not worried about trade speculation linking the Miami Dolphins quarterback with a swap for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The 23-year-old quarterback, who is playing in his second season, has been the subject of trade speculation but said he felt reassured after conversations with Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.

The NFL's Tuesday trade deadline is approaching, although Tagovailoa said he was not thinking about it.

"I don't not feel wanted. That's what I could say," Tagovailoa told reporters.

"I really don't think about it. The only time I'm really hearing about it, like I've said before, is if [the communications staff] is kind of telling me what's going on within the rumours or if my agent calls me.

"That's really when I hear it. Other than that, I don't really hear it."

Watson requested a trade from the Texans in January and is facing 22 civil lawsuits that remain unresolved as the NFL conducts its own investigation into sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him.

Tagovailoa, who was pick five in the 2020 NFL Draft, has enjoyed the best two-game stretch of his career to date over the past fortnight, completing 75 per cent of passes for 620 yards and six touchdowns.

The Dolphins are 1-6 this season with Tagovailoa completing 82 of 118 attempts for 835 yards, with seven touchdowns, four interceptions and five sacks across his four starts, having missed time due to a rib injury.

Tagovailoa has shown improvements this season but the Dolphins have been let down in defense, giving up 207 points for the season, the second-highest total in the NFL through Week 7.

The Hawaii-born QB would not be drawn on what was discussed in his conversations with Flores but insisted it reassured him.

"Honestly, I don't base my emotions off of who says anything about me or who is saying what," he said.

"All I can do is my job and do it to the best of my capabilities. Everything else, I mean it's out of my control. But I have the utmost confidence and trust that I am the quarterback of this team, just off of conversations that I've had with Flo and whatnot.

"That obviously stays between us. I feel very confident that I'm the person."

Tagovailoa started nine games in his rookie season, winning six of them as he threw 11 touchdowns to five picks with some steady but unspectacular performances.

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule vowed to stick with Sam Darnold as his starting quarterback, despite benching the team's top offseason acquisition in a 25-3 defeat to the New York Giants. 

Darnold completed 16 of 25 passes for 111 yards with no touchdowns and an interception and also was sacked three times in the NFL on Sunday.

His intentional grounding penalty in the end zone gave the Giants a safety for their first score of the game. 

Rhule handed the reins to backup P.J. Walker in search of a "spark" early in the fourth quarter, but he was even less effective, connecting on just three of 14 attempts for 33 yards. 

With the NFL's trade deadline looming on November 2, The Athletic reported following the game that the Panthers are expected to engage the Houston Texans in talks about acquiring Deshaun Watson. 

Watson requested a trade following last season and has not played this year after accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced during the offseason.

The 26-year-old quarterback has denied the allegations and remains on Houston's 53-man roster but has been inactive for every game. 

Reports last week said the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles also were potentially interested in Watson, who has the right to veto any deal. 

Rhule was asked directly about potential interest in Watson on a conference call last week and responded that Darnold was his focus and "I'm not looking anywhere else". 

He maintained his line after the loss to the Giants, despite the Panthers dropping their fourth straight game following a 3-0 start – a slump that has coincided with star running back Christian McCaffrey being out of the line-up due to a hamstring injury. 

"Sam will be our quarterback next week," Rhule said. "He will be our quarterback moving forward.

"We're not winning right now. It's going to take all of us. [Darnold] just needs a lot of help from a lot of guys right now that he's not getting. I see the good moments, too. We're going to keep coaching him."

Tyrod Taylor has been confirmed as the Houston Texans' starting quarterback for the 2021 NFL season. 

Taylor, who signed a one-year, $5.5million contract in Houston, was widely expected to be named the Texans' QB1 – a decision confirmed by head coach David Culley on Monday. 

The Texans, for whom third-round rookie Davis Mills will serve as back-up, are set for a testing year. 

Deshaun Watson has been the team's star QB over the past four seasons, last year leading the league in passing yards (4,823) and passing yards per attempt (8.87) – this despite being sacked 49 times, second only to Carson Wentz. 

Watson was the one bright spot on a team that finished 4-12 in 2020, but he is not likely to feature this season despite remaining on the roster. 

The 25-year-old in January asked for a trade, only for talk of a move to be overshadowed two months later by the emergence of sexual assault and misconduct allegations. Watson is the subject of investigations from the police and the NFL and faces 22 civil lawsuits. 

Watson has not been restricted from taking part in team activities, yet a belated exit is anticipated after a period on the sidelines. 

That leaves Taylor in the firing line on a team forecast to have the worst record in the league. 

The 32-year-old was a regular for the Bills for three years between 2015 and 2017, but he has started only four games in three seasons since leaving Buffalo – three with the Cleveland Browns in 2018 and one last year with the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Taylor completed only 16 of his 30 pass attempts in 2020, a small sample size providing a 53.3 completion percentage that paled next to Watson's 70.2. 

The Texans start against the Jacksonville Jaguars and number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence on Sunday. 

The Miami Dolphins have long been tipped as a potential landing spot for Deshaun Watson, but head coach Brian Flores seemingly called into question the viability of a deal for the Houston Texans quarterback after insisting he wants "high character" people around the team.  

Watson is the subject of investigations by Houston police and the NFL and faces 22 civil lawsuits after a series of women accused him of assault or sexual misconduct. Watson has strenuously denied the accusations, and no charges have been filed against him.

The 25-year-old QB made it clear following last season that he wanted out of Houston, but the emergence of the allegations against him beginning in March threw his future into doubt mere months after he signed a four-year, $156million contract extension. 

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Flores did not directly address speculation about Watson, but he was asked about acquiring players who might bring off-the-field concerns. 

"There are a lot of things we weigh when we're making decisions – fit on the team, overall talent, salary cap," Flores said. "When we're talking about a player or players, we're always trying to do what is best for the Miami Dolphins.

"There are a lot of variables. We want a group that is tough, smart, competitive, loves to play and is team-first. Those are the types of guys we're looking for.

"We have a high standard for the people we have in the organisation. We want people with high character throughout the building."

Watson has mostly practiced on his own throughout Texans camp and has not appeared in any preseason games, but Tuesday's NFL deadline to reduce rosters from 80 to 53 players could spur action. 

That could mean allowing him to keep a precious roster spot and pay him his $10.5m salary even while he remains on the sidelines in hopes his legal issues are resolved, or Houston could trade him and let another team figure it out.

The Texans reportedly have sought a package that includes three first-round picks in any deal for Watson but are seen as unlikely to net a huge return given the questions surrounding his status. 

Watson is coming off a dominant season for a team that finished 4-12, as he led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards while compiling a career-best 70.2 completion percentage and 33 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. 

He also ran for 444 yards and three more touchdowns as he made the Pro Bowl for the third successive season. 

Topping 4,000 yards for the second time in his career as he racked up 4,823 to lead the league, Watson threw for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

Fifth in the NFL in air yards per attempt (9.27), according to Stats Perform data, Watson did an excellent job of balancing his aggressiveness with smart decision-making.

Indeed, he threw a pickable pass on just 2.28 per cent of his attempts, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL.

Considering the opener against the New England Patriots looms less than two weeks away, Tua Tagovailoa figures to begin the season as Miami's starting quarterback regardless of any other moves the Dolphins might make. 

Flores is trying to keep his team's focus on the task at hand in the meantime. 

"There are always rumours, there's always speculation, there's always some form of distraction," he said. "As a team we've got to block that stuff out and play."

Deshaun Watson's future remains unclear, but it is looking increasingly likely he will not be a member of the Houston Texans long term.

Watson requested a trade from the Texans back in January, with the team seemingly steadfast in their desire to retain the services of the 2020 season's passing yards leader.

Yet any trade talk was overshadowed in March by the emergence of sexual assault and misconduct allegations against Watson, who is the subject of investigations from the police and the NFL and faces 22 civil lawsuits.

He reported to the Texans' training camp on Sunday despite a lack of desire to continue playing for the team, who now appear to have had a change of heart.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported on Monday that the Texans are willing to listen to offers for Watson, though their asking price will be at least three first-round picks.

His off-field troubles may impact the willingness of potential suitors to give up such capital but, in terms of on-field production, there is no doubt he is worthy of that level of compensation.

Topping 4,000 yards for the second time in his career as he racked up 4,823 to lead the league, Watson threw for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

Fifth in the NFL in air yards per attempt (9.27), according to Stats Perform data, Watson did an excellent job of balancing his aggressiveness with smart decision-making.

Indeed, he threw a pickable pass on just 2.28 per cent of his attempts, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL.

Yet the Texans still limped to a 4-12 record and frustration at his lack of involvement in the search for a new general manager and head coach led to Watson requesting a trade.

The Texans start their 2021 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 12, but it would be a surprise to see Watson facing off against number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence.

Nike has suspended its endorsement of Deshaun Watson amid accusations of assault and sexual misconduct against the Houston Texans quarterback.

Watson, 25, is the subject of 22 civil lawsuits from females accusing him of assault or sexual misconduct.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

The first woman to accuse him spoke publicly at a media conference in Texas on Tuesday.

Sitting alongside her attorney, Tony Buzbee, Ashley Solis described the emotional and physical torment she has endured from the alleged assault.

A second woman, Lauren Baxley, identified herself in a statement read by an attorney from Buzbee's firm.

On Wednesday, Nike released a statement, which read: "We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation."

Houston police and the NFL are both conducting investigations into the accusations.

What shaped up to be a year of enormous positivity ended in disappointment and a dilemma for the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins were 5-11 at the bottom of the AFC East in 2019 before turning their fortunes around to finish 10-6 last year. That was not quite enough to make the playoffs, though.

Victory over the Buffalo Bills in Week 17 would have clinched a postseason berth, as indeed would defeats for any of three AFC rivals. Every result went against Miami.

Worse than just being edged out of the postseason picture, they were beaten by 30 points in Buffalo as Tua Tagovailoa – the fifth overall pick supposed to be the Dolphins’ franchise quarterback – endured a dismal end to his rookie season.

The signs had been there prior to that desperate three-interception showing, which actually included a career-high 361 passing yards, but the costly defeat firmly formed Miami’s big offseason question: Do they need to make a move at QB?

There have been and continue to be interesting options, but the front office looks to be taking its time in making the right calls to turn this team into contenders.

Stats Perform data shows how far away they are right now.

Offense

Tagovailoa would likely have been given some respite in that fateful Bills game had backup Ryan Fitzpatrick not been ruled out after testing positive for coronavirus.

The Dolphins had turned to Fitzpatrick in Week 16 against the Las Vegas Raiders and he duly rescued a 26-25 comeback win, completing nine of 13 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown.

The change was evidence of coach Brian Flores’ faltering faith in Tagovailoa. The result was justification.

Among players to throw 200 attempts in 2020, only Washington pair Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins Jr. trailed Tagovailoa’s 1,814 yards. Even when he put up big numbers in the Buffalo defeat, his 6.22 yards per attempt were 0.04 yards down on his extremely modest year average.

This plodding pace was the reason for Flores turning so often to Fitzpatrick, who was picked on eight of 267 passes (3.0 per cent) but gained 7.83 yards per attempt.

Neither quarterback was helped by the limited receiving options, with only wide receiver DeVante Parker (63 catches for 793 yards and four TDs) and tight end Mike Gesicki (53 catches for 703 yards and six TDs) offering any real quality in that sense.

The rushing offense was no better. Perhaps again partly due to a reluctance to trust Tagovailoa, they ran on 41.9 per cent of plays (14th-most in the league) but registered only 105.5 rushing yards per game (22nd-most).

Criticism of Tagovailoa was understandable, but the entire offense was shaky last year.

Defense

With the deficiencies on the other side of the ball, Miami’s defense had to be shoulder much of the burden in 2020. 

Although opponents racked up 251.5 passing yards per game, the Dolphins allowed just 315 points across the season, the fourth-fewest in the NFL.

The cornerback duo of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones were particularly effective. Howard had 10 interceptions after managing 12 across the first four years of his career.

Up front, Emmanuel Ogbah (9.0 sacks and 21 QB hits), Kyle Van Noy (6.0 sacks and 10 QB hits) and Shaq Lawson (4.0 sacks and 18 QB hits) were productive in pressuring the quarterback.

Firmly in the middle of the pack when it came to stopping the run, the Dolphins allowed 116.4 rushing yards per game, but theirs was a stingy defense that proved its upside by forcing a league-leading 29 total takeaways.

Offseason

Although the Dolphins have been busy in free agency already, their spending has been unexceptional.

Van Noy was released and re-joined the New England Patriots, with whom they swapped defensive linemen as Davon Godchaux and Adam Butler traded places.

Butler's contract with the Dolphins cost half as much as Godchaux's in New England, but the new acquisition had four sacks in 2020, more than the man he is replacing managed in his entire Miami career.

Those deals are indicative of what so far appears to be a cost-cutting one-in, one-out approach. Fitzpatrick left for the Washington Football Team, where he will collect $10million, while Jacoby Brissett – a new backup quarterback – arrived from the Indianapolis Colts on a contract worth $5m.

The biggest splash to date saw Will Fuller arrive after a career year catching Deshaun Watson passes, including eight touchdowns, in Houston.

The most significant development of the offseason is yet to play out, though, as the identity of the man throwing the ball to Fuller this year remains far from certain.

Fuller could serve as a pivotal boost to Tagovailoa's options and enable him to develop his game in year two, but the Dolphins also have the ability to put together a very enticing package for a prospective trade, as they possess the third and 18th picks in the first round of this year's draft.

Fuller’s wantaway former team-mate Watson is the most obvious possible target in a move that would change the complexion of the AFC.

The arrival of one of the league's elite quarterbacks could quickly turn Miami into contenders, but it would depend on the Texans taking back their own draft pick, sent to the Dolphins in return for Laremy Tunsil in 2019.

Whether they stick with Tagovailoa, make a blockbuster move for Watson or unexpectedly take one of the draft's top signal-callers, an intriguing offseason in Miami will be defined by a crucial decision at the game's most important position.

Another offseason sees another scramble for quarterbacks in the NFL.

Last year, Tom Brady was among those on the move and he ended the 2020 season with his first Super Bowl title in Tampa Bay and seventh in total.

Already in 2021 there have been significant deals at the position again, including the Los Angeles Rams' big play for Matthew Stafford, deeming him a significant upgrade on the expensive, underperforming Jared Goff.

There are big names remaining on the board, though, and we take a look at the state of play.

 

DESHAUN WATSON

It is not every day a QB of Watson's quality becomes available – and the Houston Texans might still argue he is not. But the 25-year-old was bogged down by a poor team last year, finishing 4-12 despite leading the league in overall passing yards (4,823).

Watson wants out, and the Texans would be well advised to listen to any serious offers if the alternative is to let one of the league's top talents sit on a massive contract.

The asking price will surely be high. Stafford, 33, threw for 4,084 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2020 – beaten by Watson across the board – and set a precedent when he went to the Rams for Goff, two first-round picks and a third.

What does that make Watson worth? Well, his desire to depart might bring the value down slightly, but Houston would surely expect picks as well as a QB prospect.

TUA TAGOVAILOA

Tagovailoa was the fifth pick just a year ago, but the Miami Dolphins might already be interested in moving on, especially if that means a trade for Watson.

Although there were signs of Tagovailoa's promise as he won his first three NFL starts, 2020 ended with his benching in a Week 16 comeback win and then three costly picks in a Week 17 defeat that saw the Dolphins miss the playoffs.

Miami might feel a move for Watson would make them contenders, while the Texans could use a talent like Tagovailoa in their rebuild.

There is a complication, however. The draft picks Houston would receive alongside Tagovailoa in return for Watson would be the same selections they spent themselves in a deal for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. In order to save face, an alternative package might appeal.

SAM DARNOLD

Such an offer may well materialise elsewhere in the AFC East. The New York Jets are likely to have an interest in Watson if they move on from Darnold and do not want to try again in the draft with the second pick.

That would have been the first selection had the Jets not inexplicably rallied to two wins, gifting Trevor Lawrence to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The signing of Watson would significantly soften that blow, but it would most likely mean the Texans taking on Darnold, who has played for two more years than Tagovailoa and is still to show he is really up to the task. A career tally of 45 TDs and 39 interceptions for a passer rating of 78.6 does not compare favourably.

His team even failed when apparently tanking. Houston would hope a Darnold-led rebuild would fare better.

JIMMY GAROPPOLO

This busy market might have piqued the interest of San Francisco 49ers fans looking for a more reliable option at QB, where Garoppolo has started only 30 games in four years. It could be time for him to move on.

The landing spot for the 29-year-old would seemingly be New England, a place he knows well having previously served as Brady's understudy on the Patriots.

Brady stuck around longer than expected, so Garoppolo moved to San Francisco and performed well in 2019, starting all 16 games for the only time in his career and throwing 27 TDs before making the Super Bowl.

That proved the peak, however, with defeat in the big game, although the Pats look to be interested again having failed to properly replace - yes – Brady.

CAM NEWTON

Newton was the man Bill Belichick initially turned to, agreeing a one-year deal with the former MVP that makes him a free agent again this year.

A return to New England cannot be entirely ruled out, although a team and coach used to Brady's brilliance never really adjusted to a QB who threw only eight TDs.

Newton might have other options. Washington head coach Ron Rivera knows the player well from their time together with the Carolina Panthers and could be more appreciative of his other talents, notably a running game that brought 592 yards and 12 TDs on 137 carries in 2020.

JAMEIS WINSTON

Winston, once a number one overall pick, is another man heading for free agency. He spent last season with the New Orleans Saints but found himself third choice, behind utility player Taysom Hill, and participated in only 51 plays.

It was a far cry from the previous year when Winston was Tampa Bay's starter and involved in just about everything, remarkably throwing 33 TDs and 30 interceptions.

That 2019 campaign encapsulated how chaotic the 27-year-old can be, but he would argue he deserves to at least be competing for a start somewhere. If not back to New Orleans, Winston could be headed for somewhere like Washington and a team looking to change things on the cheap.

RUSSELL WILSON

Wilson certainly would not come cheap. And it seems improbable he would come at all, regardless of the suitor.

But noises of unhappiness in Seattle, where the Seahawks failed to give their superstar quarterback the help he needed, were followed by Wilson's agent saying only moves to the Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders or Chicago Bears would appeal.

Dak Prescott's new deal in Dallas closed that avenue, while the Saints and Bears are already set to be way over the cap. Any blockbuster move for Seattle's most prized asset could change the entire complexion of this offseason, though.

Houston Texans head coach David Culley said the NFL franchise are "very committed" to quarterback DeShaun Watson amid speculation over his future.

Watson reportedly requested a trade to a new team, having grown extremely dissatisfied with the direction the Texans have been heading in over the past year.

The three-time Pro Bowler is reported to have been frustrated at his lack of input during the team's search for a new coach, which resulted in the hiring of Culley.

Watson, who was drafted 12th by the Texans in 2017, has been linked to the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers.

But speaking on Thursday, Culley told reporters: "We are very committed to Deshaun as our quarterback.

"He is our quarterback. He's the only guy we got under contract at this time, right now."

Asked if the Texans are going to trade Watson, Culley replied: "Deshaun Watson is a Houston Texan. And we're committed to him."

Culley added: "Right now, there is no contingency plan."

Watson led the NFL in passing yardage with 4,823 in the 2020 season and threw 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions as the Texans finished 4-12.

Since making his debut in 2017, Watson is third in the league in yards per attempt with an average of 8.32, trailing only Patrick Mahomes (8.39) and Jimmy Garoppolo (8.33).

Unfortunately for Houston Texans fans, their team's offseason business has been more noteworthy than their performances on the field over the past 12 months.

The Texans stunningly traded All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last March and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt has already departed this year.

But the biggest move might be yet to come.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson wants out and, although Houston insist they will not facilitate a move, the current impasse – with the 25-year-old seemingly prepared to sit if not granted an exit – suits nobody.

Watson's lack of input in the team's search for head coach Bill O'Brien's successor was said to be the largest contributing factor when he first pushed for a trade in January.

But the Texans had issues last year beyond the process that eventually led to the hiring of David Culley, crashing to 4-12 in 2020 as results on the field accurately depicted the overall direction of the franchise.

A study of Stats Perform data shows the vast work to be done whether Watson stays or goes.

Offense

Hopkins had been Houston's leading receiver in each of the five seasons prior to his departure, including 104 catches for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019.

His shock trade to the Arizona Cardinals - which came under a year after the franchise had given up a boatload of draft capital to acquire star tackle Laremy Tunsil - meant a rethink.

Will Fuller, second on that list with 49 receptions, was the obvious candidate to step up and he had 53 catches for 879 yards and eight touchdowns through 11 games.

But a six-game suspension – one week of which remains – for breaching the NFL's drug policy ended his season early. Former Green Bay stalwart Randall Cobb, who started only two games, also missed the end of the year due to a toe injury.

Meanwhile, the running game – led by David Johnson, who made up part of the Hopkins trade – scarcely registered.

Houston ranked 31st for rushing yards per game (91.6), 26th for rushing plays of 10 yards or more (38) and tied-30th for plays of 20 yards or more (five).

And yet despite losing Hopkins, leaving Brandin Cooks as his top target, having no run game to turn to and playing behind a bad offensive line – he was sacked 49 times, second-most among all QBs – Watson remained one of the league's best.

He topped the charts for overall passing yards (4,823), yards per attempt (8.87) and big plays of 25 yards or more (42). His passer rating of 112.4 trailed only MVP Aaron Rodgers.

Defense

Unfortunately, as Watson did all he could on offense to almost singlehandedly keep the Texans competitive, the defense also let him down.

Houston ranked 30th for opponent yards per game (416.8) and per play (6.24).

They were dead last for opponent rushing yards per game (160.3), where the failure to slow opponents over the ground could be attributed to D.J. Reader's departure in free agency and a shoulder injury to Benardrick McKinney that restricted him to four games and 19 tackles.

Meanwhile, the Texans were 24th for opponent net passing yards per game (256.5). Whitney Mercilus and Watt were each another year older and saw their numbers decline as a result, although the latter still led the team in sacks (5.0), QB hits (17) and defensive TDs (one).

And so with Watt's exit, the defense continues to lose talent just as it has in years past with Jadeveon Clowney and Tyrann Mathieu, both of whom left after a 2018 season in which Houston finished 11-5 and had six Pro Bowlers – including three on defense.

Offseason

Despite this grave picture, the Texans' reluctance to deal Watson suggests they have not given up just yet.

But with so much to fix – arguably every aspect of the team besides the outstanding QB – the offer of a substantial trade package for an unhappy player might start to appeal.

In another offseason in which a number of teams are looking for a new star under center, Watson, at 25, is the most valuable option on the table.

Perhaps a franchise like the Chicago Bears – potentially a Watson away from being a major contender – would make sense as a trade partner, desperate enough to give Houston the sort of assets that could allow for a rebuild.

But it may only be a team like the Miami Dolphins or New York Jets - with extra draft picks and young QB options to throw into the mix - who can come close to providing the sort of offer Houston would contemplate.

The Texans are projected to have around $33million in cap space, assuming a $185m cap, but there simply appears to be too much to do even if they can convince Watson to stay and play.

Moving on prematurely from the four-year, $156m deal Watson signed last year would provide room to manoeuvre in the years to come, too.

Houston's decision is unlikely to prove popular whichever way they go.

News of Watson's trade request prompted plans for a protest that the player himself had to call off.

But keeping their talisman might condemn the Texans to many more years like 2020, without a talented roster to support one of the NFL's most valuable assets.

Despite boasting one of the best QBs in the game, they are in an unenviable position of their own making.  

Cal McNair still expects Deshaun Watson to remain the Houston Texans' quarterback despite continued talk over a potential blockbuster trade.

The Texans have been steadfast in their desire not to grant Watson's trade request, which came about as a result of frustration at the direction of the franchise and his lack of input in their search for a new head coach. David Culley eventually replaced Bill O'Brien.

However, the speculation has not died down and on Friday came reports that Watson has a list of teams by which he is intrigued.

The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos are said to be on that list, along with the Miami Dolphins.

These latest reports came on the day that the Texans released three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, whom CEO McNair described as "unlike any player in our franchise’s history".

Asked about Watson by ESPN's Adam Schefter, McNair said: "There is a lot of misinformation out there, I'll leave it at that."

He added: "Today we want to focus on J.J. Deshaun. He is our quarterback, he is a Texan, and we expect him to remain a Texan. We'll leave it at that."

Watson, the 12th overall pick in the 2017 draft, led the league in passing yards last season with 4,823.

He also averaged a league-high 8.9 yards-per-pass attempt, throwing a career-high 33 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions.

The Houston Texans have "zero interest" in trading Deshaun Watson following the quarterback's reported request to be dealt to a new team.

Watson is said to want to leave the team that drafted 12th overall in 2017, having grown extremely dissatisfied with the direction the Texans have been heading in over the past year.

He is reported to have been frustrated at his lack of input during the team's search for a new head coach, which concluded on Friday when they confirmed the hiring of David Culley.

Speaking at Culley's introductory media conference, general manager Nick Caserio got out in front of anticipated questions about Watson by reaffirming their commitment to him.

Caserio said: "Organisationally just want to reiterate our commitment to Deshaun Watson.

"He's had a great impact on this organisation, great impact on a lot of people, great impact on this team, we look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring once we get started.

"We have zero interest in trading the player, we have a great plan, a great vision for him and for this team, for his role in this team and we look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him this spring."

Culley added of Watson: "I want him to be a Houston Texan. The reason I'm in this position today is because I knew he's going to be a Houston Texan, the outside stuff that was being said was irrelevant to me."

The Texans are reported to have fielded calls from teams across the league about a trade for Watson. 

Among the teams to have enquired about Watson are the New York Jets, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers.

Watson led the NFL in passing yardage with 4,823 in the 2020 season and threw 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

Since making his debut in 2017, Watson is third in the league in yards per attempt with an average of 8.32, trailing only Patrick Mahomes (8.39) and Jimmy Garoppolo (8.33).

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