All NFL players want the ability to control their own destiny. Deshaun Watson’s no-trade clause gives the Texans’ quarterback the chance to do just that.
The Texans didn’t enter contract negotiations with Deshaun Watson with much leverage. The reality is that Houston couldn’t afford to let their franchise quarterback leave. Credit Watson and his representatives for extracting the maximum value they could from his new deal.
Not only did Watson get a boatload of money from the Texans, news has recently broken that his new deal also includes a no-trade clause. That means the talented signal-caller has the ability to veto any attempt the team makes to trade him through the completion of the 2025 NFL season.
The team’s surprising decision to trade star wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, earlier this offseason certainly played a role in Watson pushing for the clause. There are zero indications that head coach/GM Bill O’Brien has any plans to deal Watson in the future, but the player is smart enough to understand that things change quickly in the NFL.
Now he has the ability to withstand anything that might change inside the Texans organization. There’s a very strong chance that Watson will now outlast O’Brien’s tenure with the team. There’s no way of projecting how a new regime might feel about the quarterback as his career progresses.
The idea that the Texans might want to deal Watson anytime soon seems crazy at the moment. If the team struggles to build a legitimate contender around him they could opt to move him to kick-start a rebuild in the future. Now Watson has the ability to control that process if the Texans ever try to use him as a trade asset.
Giving Watson the no-trade clause is still a move worth making from the Texans’ perspective. The franchise couldn’t afford the poor optics of letting Watson’s deal run down. He’s the true face of the franchise. The team has been widely criticized for letting other big-name stars leave in recent years. The notion that Watson might follow someone like Hopkins out the exit door would have caused a great deal of unrest for Houston fans.
Deshuan Watson wasn’t short on influence with the Texans before signing his new deal, but now he’s one of the most powerful quarterbacks in football. The inclusion of a no-trade clause in his contract gives him complete control over his career.