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Will Deshaun Watson play for the Texans this year?

After Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson reported for training camp, the Texans promptly commenced the process of trying to trade him. With no one willing to offer the pay the price the Texans are seeking, the Texans apparently are pivoting to Plan B.

As noted by Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, the Texans “have not given up” on Watson playing for the Texans in 2021.

“They’re not taking lowball offers,” Robinson adds. “This is why they aren’t being overly communicative with teams. Barring a strong offer, Texans brass will try to get him back into the fold before the season begins.”

Meanwhile, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle has reiterated something he has believed for a while: Watson will never play another down for the Texans.

The wild card in all of this is Watson’s legal situation. Watson’s camp believes a grand jury is inevitable. If he’s indicted on only one felony charge via a procedure that entails a one-sided presentation of evidence with no representation by Watson, he’ll surely land on paid leave. That’s why teams are hesitant to even approach Houston’s expectations.

Another factor, frankly, traces to Patriots coach Bill Belichick. It’s believed that, like so many former Belichick lieutenants, new Texans G.M. Nick Caserio doesn’t want to do a deal that Belichick would regard as a bad one. So Caserio would instead prefer to do no deal at all, at least not for now.

Chances are that Watson eventually will be cleared to return to the NFL. He could miss a season or two until that happens. And there’s a lingering possibility that he could be convicted of a felony sexual misconduct charge and imprisoned.

Regardless, the Texans aren’t inclined to make a bad deal. They’d rather make no deal. And they’d rather Watson play for them until it’s time to make a deal.