Texans have 'zero interest' to trade Deshaun Watson, GM says

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Friday, January 29, 2021

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Texans entered Friday with the intention of officially introducing new head coach David Culley, but instead, news of star quarterback Deshaun Watson's trade request dominated the event.

Knowing that will be a large part of the afternoon news conference, recently-minted general manager Nick Caserio said the team has "zero interest" to see their starting QB leave.

"(Deshaun has) had a great impact in this organization, a great impact on a lot of people, a great impact on this team. And we look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him this spring once we get started," Caserio said in his "recommitment" to Watson.

On Thursday, reports surfaced of Watson officially requesting a trade out of Houston, which had been made weeks ago.

SEE MORE: Deshaun Watson wants out: Houston Texans QB officially requests trade, ESPN reports

Over the last few weeks, Watson's dissatisfaction with the team culture, including the way the club hired Caserio, had been rumored, only to come to a head when the reported trade request came to light.

On whether he was aware of the trade talk with Watson, Culley, a longtime NFL assistant who is entering his first head coaching gig in the league, told reporters he did not know it had been done and that he went into his interviews with management assuming No. 4 is under center for the Texans this season.

"The only thing I know about this situation at this point is that I had been interviewed for this job to be the head coach, and I did know at that point that Deshaun Watson is the quarterback of the Houston Texans," Culley said. "That's all that I was concerned about. And that's all I knew. And whatever that has been said about what he wanted to do, or what he didn't want to do, all I knew was this. And having been in this business that long, you know, he is a Houston Texan. And I want him to be a Houston Texan."

Culley admitted the reason he's with Texans is that Watson would be his QB.

"The reason I'm in this position I'm in this position today is because I knew he was going to be a Houston Texan," Culley stated. "The outside stuff that had been said was irrelevant to me."

As it stands now, Watson is under contract with the organization after signing a four-year, $156 million extension.

If the Texans choose not to trade Watson, he could opt to not report to mandatory team activities or training camp, but at a cost. Houston can fine Watson $95,877 for missing minicamp and can fine him $50,000 per day for each day of training camp missed, plus one week's salary -- $620,000 -- for each preseason game missed. In the unlikely scenario that Watson chooses to retire, the Texans can collect $21.6 million.

ESPN contributed to this report.