Nick Caserio is already making his presence felt on Kirby Drive. This week Caserio, after a controversial hiring process, began the process of why Cal McNair and others in the building believe he is the right man to lead Houston towards a Super Bowl-level roster. First, early Friday morning, the Texans released runningback Duke Johnson. Johnson was acquired in 2019 as one of Bill O’Brien’s signature trades for a fourth round pick that was a conditional third. Considered a massive overpay at the time, as Johnson had previously asked for a trade from Cleveland, it only looked worse when the pick converted into a third round selection after Johnson was active for his tenth game. During his two years in Houston, the team could never quite figure out how to use the versatile runningback, much to the chagrin of both fantasy players and the fanbase alike. Center Nick Martin was another key roster decision of the O’Brien era. Considered a suitable, but not spectacular, center in the NFL, the Texans turned heads when they signed Martin to a three-year $33 Million contract extension in 2019. The deal made Martin one of the five highest paid centers of the league and was considered a key effort in their attempt to protect franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. Needless to say, it was a poor investment. On Friday Caserio cut Martin, creating a total of $14M saved between him and Johnson. These moves show that Caserio isn’t afraid to do things his own way and, most importantly, isn’t afraid to establish ‘sunk costs’ of the O’Brien era.
Next, in the opinion of Mr. 713, Caserio is handling the Watson hold-out situation beautifully. On Friday a story leaked that Watson had met with coach Culley and once again established that he has no intention to play for Houston in 2021. A few hours later, the team doubled down (or Ian Rapoport was told) that they had no intention to trade Watson. Continuing to keep #4 off the market, regardless of if it is or isn’t smart to not listen to deals, dramatically raises his values. Watson’s seemingly unavailable presence incentivizes teams to continue upping their offers and creates desperation as more and more quarterbacks become unavailable. Caserio, unlike O’Brien, won’t fumble a trade process of a highly valuable player. Eventually, if Watson truly does have to be traded, the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, or Carolina Panthers’ will eventually bring an offer that Houston just can’t turn down.
Video and Content from Mr. 713 (Twitter: @713HSP)
Article from John Crumpler (Twitter: @Get_Crumped)