Texans head coach Lovie Smith on Deshaun Watson trade: ‘Sometimes divorce is good’


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The Houston Texans are entering a new chapter after trading longtime starting quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Watson reportedly wanted to leave Houston and even asked for a trade from the Texans in January 2021. Earlier this year, he was traded to the Cleveland Browns as he faced 22 civil lawsuits over sexual assault allegations.

Texans head coach Lovie Smith spoke about his former quarterback in a podcast aired Tuesday, saying it’s time for Houston to move on.

Houston Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium on December 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

“You know, sometimes divorce is good,” Smith said on “The Cris Collinsworth Podcast.” “And that’s my statement that I’ve made many times when a split is going to happen and both sides are going to win once that happens.”

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“Again, I don’t know exactly what happened, [the] the accusations are there and if they are true everything will come out in time,” added the coach. “But for our football team, we had to move on.”

Smith expressed confidence in second-year quarterback Davis Mills, who would have the best chance of winning the Texans’ starting quarterback job in 2022.

Mills was selected by Houston in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and he started 11 games last season. Mills has improved over time and has a passer rating over 90 in four of his last five games.

September 19, 2021;  Cleveland, Ohio, USA;  Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) kicks the ball during warmups before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium.

September 19, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) kicks the ball during warmups before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium.
(Scott Galvin – USA TODAY Sports)

The Texans didn’t select a flagger in the 2022 draft, which was supposed to have a weak quarterback class.

Houston received a big hit from Watson’s trade to the Browns, earning the team a first-round pick in the 2022, 2023, and 2024 drafts. If Mills doesn’t end up being a quarterback franchise for Houston, the team has the draft capital to potentially select another in future drafts.

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As for Watson, he has denied acting intentionally and has denied all claims in the nearly two dozen civil lawsuits against him.

“I’ve never assaulted, disrespected, or harassed a woman in my life. I’ve never done those things that people claim,” Watson said at her first press conference.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson speaks during his press conference introducing him to the Cleveland Browns at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson speaks during his press conference introducing him to the Cleveland Browns at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio.
(Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

A pair of grand juries in Texas declined to bring criminal charges against the quarterback, who landed a fully guaranteed $230 million contract from the Browns following the trade.

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The NFL is still investigating Watson to determine if Watson violated its Personal Conduct Policy. He showed up on the Browns’ offseason program last month.


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