- The Houston Texans have one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL in Deshaun Watson.
- But without a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver, they will struggle to get the most out of him.
- At this time of the year, barring some ridiculous trade, they are only going to get via free agency—and the options are limited.
When the Houston Texans decided to commit to Deshaun Watson with a four-year, $156 million contract, they essentially put all of their cards on the table. They said, “This is our guy. We are going to win or lose according to how well he plays.”
It is what every team does when they sign a player of his caliber.
Three games into the 2020 NFL season finds the Texans 0-3, the offense is one of the least productive in the NFL, and Watson is ranked 17th by ProFootballFocus (out of 34 quarterbacks). That can’t be what the Texans had in mind when they gave Watson that extension.
While he does deserve some of the blame, the team deserves more. Watson does not have much to work with. He needs help. Barring another ridiculous trade by O’Brien, there is only one place it can come from–from one of the few good wide receivers available in free agency.
Antonio Brown—the Reward
Since leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers following the 2018 NFL season, Antonio Brown has been the definition of a ‘train wreck.’ From his antics with the Oakland Raiders to his early exit from the Patriots to his long list of legal and personal issues, he has been—well, a train wreck. He has been a disaster in every sense of the word. So, why on Earth should the Texans even consider signing him?
Because when he played, he was the best wide receiver in the NFL and a threat to score every time he got his hand on the ball. Watch the video:
Antonio Brown’s last touchdown in possibly his last game in the NFL
— Tompa Brady (@Tommy6Rings) September 18, 2020
If he can provide Houston with that kind of threat, the Texans will be a much better team than they are now. Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, Randall Cobb, Brandin Cooks will all have looser coverage because defenses will be worried about Brown.
Not only that, but it will even be easier for the offensive line to open up some running lanes.
The offense could become much more than it is right now. With less pressure on the defense to keep the team in games, they could become better. When the team plays lesser competition than the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, they might even have a chance to win a few games.
Antonio Brown—the Risk
While the reward can be significant in signing Brown, the Texans must measure it against the risk. Antonio Brown is a wildcard. There is no telling how he will behave in the locker room, at meetings, or on the sideline.
It is hard to say if he is even going to be eligible to play this season. His current suspension runs through the first eight games of the season, but there is a good chance it could get extended. If it doesn’t, can he be trusted not to do something stupid off the field?
Yes, it has been a while since he last gave bloggers some juicy material. But with how easily and frequently he did so not too long ago, can you trust him?
That is hard to say. But with Brown’s track record and the fact no one else has shown significant interest, they could get him dirt cheap. Maybe he could make a few plays like this one for the Texans:
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) April 2, 2016
Bill O’Brien Has No Interest in Helping Deshaun Watson
When asked about looking for help for his offense, O’Brien had this to say:
His mind could easily change once Brandin Cooks or Will Fuller goes down with an injury. If he doesn’t want to give Antonio Brown a test drive once his suspension is done, Dez Bryant is still looking for a job.
But he hasn’t played in two years.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.