The Houston Texans exercised the fifth-year option on Deshaun Watson's contract on Monday according to ESPN. On Tuesday, the First Take panel was asked to make predictions on Watson's next season. Stephen A. Smith is not optimistic.
And he is absolutely right. Watson's numbers did not make a big jump from his second to third season. He took fewer sacks, but threw more interceptions in one fewer game. The team made the playoffs for the second straight year while Watson went to his second consecutive Pro Bowl and technically led the Texans to their second playoff win of the Bill O'Brien era. I say technically because the other win was when Brock Osweiler beat Connor Cook.
Unsurprisingly, the Texans want to lock Watson down with a long-term deal. The question is, after O'Brien got rid of DeAndre Hopkins, does Watson want that? He's going to be a top quarterback in the NFL for years to come. Trading away All-Pro wide receivers doesn't seem like the kind of message you want to send to that kind of quarterback.
As Stephen A. Smith says, if Watson has a down season it will be through no fault of his own. So the pressure is on O'Brien and the Texans. They have two seasons left with Watson on his rookie deal. If this were the NBA, he'd have probably already demanded a trade, but it's the NFL so he'll play out his deal and probably just re-sign with the Texans before the deal ends. The question is, will O'Brien survive?