Patriots

Andre Johnson blasts Jack Easterby in defense of Deshaun Watson

Patriots

Jack Easterby has made a few enemies since joining the Houston Texans. Add Andre Johnson to that list.

The former Texans wide receiver used Twitter on Tuesday to deliver an evisceration of Easterby, Houston's executive vice president of football operations and former Patriots team chaplain who recently hired ex-New England colleague Nick Caserio as the team's general manager.

Johnson also had a clear message for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson: hold firm on requesting a trade out of Houston.

For context, Texans chairman Cal McNair tabbed Johnson and several other NFL notables to help the team's search for a new head coach and GM back in December. That group worked with the search firm Korn Ferry, which produced a list of GM candidates ... that didn't include Caserio.

Easterby played a major role in the Texans hiring his old pal Caserio without consulting his advisors -- or Watson, who was promised a say in the search process and reportedly was "extremely unhappy" about being left out of the loop.

That background -- and the fact that Houston went 4-12 this season as Easterby failed to surround Watson with quality talent -- explains why Johnson is so upset with the Texans' new boss and wants Watson to jump ship.

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Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Watson's former teammate whom Easterby's Texans traded away last March for aging running back David Johnson, apparently agrees with the Texans legend.

Andre Johnson's criticism will only heighten trade rumors surrounding Watson, who led the NFL in passing yards this season at age 25. The Patriots certainly would have interest in a QB of Watson's caliber, but it's possible the Pro Bowler lands elsewhere in the AFC East.