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Not only with the face of their franchise — but with their former one, the Texans are at a crossroads. While Houston has been determined to maintain quarterback Deshaun Watson

The Watt query, unlike with Watson, is one that Houston has the leverage to answer for itself. In March, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year turns 32 and will be entering his contract’s final year—expected he’s to make $17.5 million. James Palmer of the NFL Network confirmed that the perception among some teammates and coaches was that the Texans had already played their last down with Watt. Garafolo intimated that both sides would welcome a split.

“It doesn’t seem like the Texans, who have a new regime in, would reset the table and give him a long-term extension,” Garafolo said. “If that’s the case and you’re entering that last year, then perhaps it might be best to just let him go and get a fresh start elsewhere. He’s been through so much. He certainly wants to play for a winner. He’s been to the playoffs in his career, but he wants to go deep into the playoffs, deeper than he’s ever been.”

That is not the trajectory with Watson that the Texans are on. If they agree with his latest trade demand, a complete reconstruction has begun. And to do that without the most experienced player in their history will make sense.

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