What does Houston’s deal with Tyrod Taylor mean for Deshaun Watson?

Aside from one minor lapse from head coach David Culley, the Texans have not wavered in their stance that quarterback Deshaun Watson is not available for a trade.

But when Culley used the two magic words — “right now” — to describe Watson’s status with Houston last week, it signaled the team might realize trading Watson is in the organization’s best interest.

In agreeing to sign quarterback Tyrod Taylor to an incentive-laden deal worth up to a reported $12.5 million, the Texans have crafted an insurance policy for the game’s most important position. If Houston were to trade Watson, they would at least have Taylor as a signal-caller with 47 games of starting experience. Plus, Taylor worked with Houston’s quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton with the Chargers last year, so there’s familiarity with the team’s staff.

But as Peter King pointed out on Tuesday’s episode of PFT PM, the Texans bringing in Taylor could also be a message of, “Go ahead and sit,” to Watson.

Watson would incur hefty financial penalties if he were to sit out the 2021 season instead of playing for Houston. But he and the Texans are clearly at an impasse. If Jalen Ramsey — who shares an agent with Watson — is to be believed, the quarterback is “extremely serious” about not suiting up for the Texans again.

By signing Taylor, the Texans could be signaling they’re willing to part with Watson for the right price. Or they just might be further digging in their heels in their stance that Watson will be their quarterback or he won’t play — whether he likes it or not.