The Houston Texans are in a bad, bad way, and everybody knows it. After achieving four playoff berths in five seasons, the team fell off a cliff this year, going 4-12 and playing most of their games under an interim head coach because of the quick firing of Bill O’Brien. After the final game, team captain J.J. Watt said to young quarterback Deshaun Watson, “I’m sorry. We wasted one of your years. We should have 11 wins.”
It’s only gotten worse in the offseason, as the Texans’ treatment of and communication with Watson has developed into a conspicuous mess. Watson is reportedly disgruntled because, despite promises to the contrary, he was essentially left out of the process for hiring the Texans’ new GM. EVP of Football Operations Jack Easterby brought on his old pal Nick Caserio and owner Cal McNair chose to ignore the recommendations from Watson as well as the well-compensated search firm hired to find the best GM candidates.
Since that story leaked, Watson has only gained more support from his peers. On Tuesday, former wide receiver Andre Johnson issued a sharp indictment of Easterby and said that the team “is known for wasting players’ careers.” While Johnson is one of the best players in Texans history, this was also notable because he basically never tweets anything besides the occasional bland ad.
Johnson’s comments were co-signed by Houston’s all-time leading rusher, Arian Foster, who said he wasn’t following the situation but knows something’s wrong because of his old teammate’s uncharacteristic anger.
All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins gave Johnson’s comments a boost, too. His public callout is particularly interesting because not only is he still an active player on the Arizona Cardinals, but the shocking trade of Hopkins in March 2020 was reportedly the beginning of Watson’s frayed relationship with his bosses.
Perhaps emboldened by the support, Watson hopped on Twitter on Friday for the first time since his season ended and pointedly referenced a lyric from Future.
If the meaning of those tweets isn’t immediately clear, they’re made crystal by an Adam Schefter tweet from five days ago. If someone was playing the long game by intentionally feeding a Future lyric to Schefter, kudos to them.
So, for those keeping track: Watt, Johnson, Hopkins, Foster, and Watson are all furious or at minimum unhappy with the current state of the Houston Texans. That’s every great offensive player who’s ever put on that uniform and the best defensive player in team history voicing some level of concern.
But if Easterby is looking for a silver lining, at least one member of the Texans Ring Of Honor has not yet criticized the direction of the franchise. Former owner Bob McNair has notably stayed silent on the team’s shortcomings since his death in 2018.