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By Joe Kazmar
For the Record 

Kaz's Korner

Texass QB Fiasco supersedes any NCAA Tourney News

 

Last updated 3/23/2021 at 6:04pm



While most of the sports fans around the country were paying attention to the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament and how they were doing on their personal bracket, fans in the Southeast Texas and Houston areas were focused on the daily soap opera about the Houston Texans’ unstable quarterback situation.

Because starting quarterback Deshaun Watson has been adamant since January about never wanting to play another down of football for the Texans since, General Manager Nick Caserio finally figured out that he really meant it and signed 10-year veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor to at least serve as a knowledgeable back-up for Watson.

The Texans last week finalized a one-year contract with the former Los Angeles Chargers starter with a maximum value of $12.5 million if all incentive clauses are triggered and carries a base value less than $6 million.

Taylor has an 89.5 career passing rating and has the third-lowest interception rate since 2011 with interceptions thrown on just 1.4 per cent of his passes, with 20 interceptions during a decade in the NFL. Taylor is a multi-dimensional quarterback who can beat defenses with his feet as well as his strong and accurate arm.

The Texans management also began to listen to some of the trade offers being registered daily by the many teams interested in obtaining Watson. They hope to receive three first-round draft picks, two second rounders and at least one defensive starter in a trade for Watson and have teams competing for him like he was on an auction block.

Ironically, less than 24 hours after signing Taylor last Monday, news filtered out about lawsuits filed against Watson by two massage therapists accusing him of sexual abuse.

By Friday, that number had grown to seven women who have alleged Watson assaulted or harassed them at different points in 2020, according to a front-page article appearing in Saturday’s edition of The Houston Chronicle.

The seven lawsuits against Watson all have been filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who plans on filing five more lawsuits for sexual assault and harassment in the very near future and has spoken to 10 more women he is representing, bringing the total to 22. Buzbee said he has vetted each women’s claims, including the first plaintiff who came to him.

As usual, there have been some people who have already discredited the lawsuits as false reporting, the article contends. Watson’s agent, David Mulugheta commented about the cases last weekend on Twitter.

There also have been rumors that Buzbee and Houston Texans owner Cal McNair have conspired to bring these lawsuits against Watson after the quarterback said he was willing to sit out next season if the team does not trade him.

Buzbee, who lives on River Oaks Boulevard near the McNair family, claims he wouldn’t know McNair if he saw him on the street.

The NFL also is investigating the lawsuits and the events leading up to the filing with Buzbee for possible violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. If the NFL finds Watson has violated the personal conduct policy, it could fine him or even suspend him without pay for a number of games.

If the allegations are true, Watson’s value on the trading block would tumble, although there probably are some teams so desperate for a franchise quarterback, they would be willing to disregard the incident.

But most franchises would want Watson’s legal issues to be resolved and that he’s been cleared to play by the NFL and want to know the results of its investigation before taking over his huge contract. And they probably would offer only a fraction of what the Texans wanted for the trade.

The article concluded that in a best-case scenario, another franchise quarterback would be part of the trade package to sell the fans, including those who purchase sponsorships, suites, club seats, personal seat licenses and season tickets.

It looks to me right now like a frustrating season as the team rebuilds with very few victories. The Houston Texans most likely will be in the running for the 2022 No. 1 overall draft pick that goes to the team finishing the season with the worst record in the NFL.

KWICKIES…Matt Jones protected his large lead in Sunday’s final round of the PGA Tour Honda Classic to win the event by five shots. At times he was leading the pack by seven strokes and finished with a 2-under 68. The margin of victory matched the largest in tournament history, tying the mark set by Jack Nicklaus in 1977.

The Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament was loaded with upsets, with a total of 11 just in the South and Midwest regionals. The Women’s NCAA Tournament, on the other hand, had zero upsets in the entire first round. Does that mean women’s bracket is easier to fill than the men’s, or are there just smarter folks doing the women’s bracket?

Loyola of Chicago continues to heed the prayers of 101-year-old Sister Jean as they took down No. 1-seeded Illinois 71-58 in Sunday’s second round and led the entire contest and earned a berth in the prestigious Sweet 16. However, more than 75 per cent of the fans’ brackets had them making the Sweet 16. It also must be pointed out Loyola head coach Porter Moser loves defense and it pays off because his team leads the nation in defense.

Some of the Texas Longhorns fans are referring to head basketball coach Shaka Smart as Shaka Dumb after his team was upset by No. 14 Abilene Christian 53-52 in the first round Saturday night. Smart’s Longhorns are 0-3 in three tournament appearances as his seat gets hotter each year.

Baylor, the No. 1 seed in the South Regional, and the University of Houston, the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Regional, could possibly meet in the Final Four in two weeks. Baylor is at the top of its regional while U of H is at the bottom of theirs.

Houston Astros ace pitcher Justin Verlander began throwing last week, five months after Tommy John surgery. The 38-year-old right-hander had reconstructive surgery on his right elbow Sept. 30. But he’ll miss this season because the usual recovery period is 12-14 months.

Little Cypress Mauriceville’s Jack Burke broke his own record Monday when he shot 8-under par 64 to win medalist honors at the Nederland Bulldog Invitational at Brentwood Country Club. The LCM boys took 1st, 2nd (Timothy Weaver) and tied for 3rd (Will Van Pelt) and beat runner up West Brook by 29 strokes.

JUST BETWEEN US…Lamar University’s athletic director Marco Born can put another notch on his belt after wielding his well-used axe to end the tenure of veteran basketball coach Tic Price last weekend. Although the Cards were 10-18 this season affected by COVID-19, Price had his team fired up to win the final four games and get a first-round bye in the Southland Conference Tournament. Their season was ended in the quarterfinal round by Abilene Christian who incidentally beat the No 3-seeded Texas Longhorns Saturday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament as a No. 14 seed.

 

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