Smith: Watson vs. Texans has makings of epic NFL battle

And how did a historic four-year, $156 million contract extension — a mutual agreement between the Texans and 25-year-old franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson — become so flimsy and worthless just five months after it was signed?

Watson versus the Texans has become the conversation in sports.

Everyone possesses a burning opinion. Almost everyone either blames Houston’s NFL team for being so dysfunctional that it is one phone call away from losing Watson forever or blames Watson for seemingly forgetting he cried tears of joy when he proudly rededicated himself to the Texans on Sept. 5, 2020.

The staredown has become a litmus test on the benefits and drawbacks of modern free agency, monster contracts, player empowerment, franchise ownership, and self above team.

The playbook for the NBA’s superstar-driven superteam movement (LeBron James, Anthony Davis, James Harden, etc.) is being adapted and rewritten in real time for the NFL, which is symbolized by a famous shield that has prioritized team above self for decades.

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“(Players) do have unquestionably better information; they have better representation,” said David Carter, associate professor at the USC Marshall School of Business. “Overall, the pendulum has swung toward labor. However, you have to be careful because pendulums swing both ways.”

Watson’s divide with the Texans — almost a year in the making, now dominated by broken trust and faith — is also unique.

This is “Succession” meets “Entourage,” with the McNair family…

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