Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is willing to hold out and pay fines in an effort to force a trade, according to multiple reports.
“Watson is so dug in, I’m told, that he is willing to wait this out,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “Get Up” on Friday. “I’m told there is a very real possibility that he could not show up for the preseason, not show up for the start of the regular season if he’s not traded. He could incur of fines during that process, but he doesn’t care. I’m told the relationship is simply too far gone right now.”
Fowler went on to say that Watson is monitoring a list of teams that he thinks could be a good fit for a potential trade. Fowler mentioned several teams and specifically said to “watch out for the Denver Broncos,” a team that has intrigued Watson.
The Texans could fine Watson $95,877 for skipping minicamp and $50,000 for each day of training camp if he holds out, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano. If he skips preseason games, Watson would be fined a week’s salary ($620,000) for each missed game.
If Watson is truly willing to hold out and pay such large fines, he might force Houston’s hand. The Texans have said they do not plan to trade Watson, but he would create a lot of leverage if he doesn’t show up for camp or preseason. Because they have Drew Lock as a fallback option, the Broncos are in a good position to wait out the Texans. The Watson drama might not have a resolution until late into the offseason, perhaps as late as preseason.