When NFL fans discuss successful franchises throughout the league’s history, the Houston Texans don’t often get mentioned.
Texans’ owner Cal McNair understands his fans’ dismay, especially those fans who bought jerseys of some of the team’s biggest flops.
That’s why the Texans team store at NRG Stadium will give a 44% discount for trade-ins of many of those jerseys.
But one player included in the deal can’t be considered much of a flop.
Fans asked. Mr. McNair delivered.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 10, 2022
Former Texan and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s jersey isn’t just included among those players.
Houston chose to use Watson’s former gear as the featured photo in their announcements and highlight the number “4”.
Stating “You asked for it” as the banner headline, the team infers fans wanted to rid themselves of their Watson attire.
It’s almost as if 2 playoff appearances in 4 years weren’t enough to please their fans.
Or maybe something else happened…
The Backlash is Real in Houston
Houston’s status as a perennial also-ran, drafter of dismal draftees, and signer of feeble free agents are well-deserved.
It ranges back as far as the Browns’ reincarnation history with only slightly better stories.
But when they traded up to draft Deshaun Watson in 2017, things were looking up.
Not only did Watson provide Pro Bowl-caliber play right from the start.
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) February 25, 2021
But he also dove into helping the Houston community, endearing himself to fans across Texas.
Imagine their surprise when Watson demanded a trade soon after signing a mega-extension back in 2021.
Apparently, promises were made and the Texans’ front office did not seem to want to follow through on them.
Watson’s best teammates were traded, and his input was ignored in selecting a new GM and head coach.
After threatening to hold out, allegations of sexual assault started piling up, dashing his reputation among Texans fans.
But It Wasn’t All Bad For Houston
Watson’s exit set the Texans back a decade, although other moves by the Houston brass certainly helped.
The McNair family is undoubtedly one of the worst owners groups in the NFL.
But Watson’s playoff appearances, Pro Bowls, and a return of competence to Texas’ second team provided some good moments.
He led the league in passing yards in 2020 and remains the active leader in yards-per-attempt (8.3) and completion rate (67.8%).
— #ClemsonNFL (@ClemsonPros) January 5, 2020
Indeed, Houston fans remember his 10 game-winning drives and eight 4th-quarter comebacks.
Maybe not, but Watson might still contribute to building a real winner for Texans fans.
His trade demands resulted in quite a haul of draft picks to work with for Houston’s general manager.
And now if they can find a competent way to use them, Houston might find success sooner than later.
But probably not before Watson and Cleveland Browns fans realize their own Super Bowl dreams.