Houston Texans: Watkins picked up $14K tab; time to revisit procedures

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Carlos Watkins
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Carlos Watkins /

The Houston Texans are almost at the finish line, although they’ve been hobbling for quite a bit for the past few months.  This time of year usually involves the rookies taking their respective units out to dinner, to which this is an unofficial rule that needs to be changed.  Here’s why.

Houston Texans fans — I usually have the utmost of optimism with each and every season that passes by but I’ll admit for the first time in awhile that I’m ready for the curtain to drop on 2017.  There’s so much decimation of injury with this team, it has become tougher to compete and just as difficult to watch this team do work.

I’ve continued to focus on the Houston Texans young guys that are either fighting for a spot next year or making their case as to why they should be getting more playing.  It’s what keeps me going.  And you know what?  This team has lost a lot of games in a row — I’ve stopped counting after a month and I’d honestly have to peek at the standings to figure how many we’ve lost in a row.

It’s a sad sentiment but it’s true.  The focus has been off the losing streak but what’s yet to come for 2018, likely a huge jolt in the arm with all of our key players like Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, D’Onta Foreman and Christian Covington back into the fold.

But another guy that I’m looking forward to his progression is defensive tackle Carlos Watkins.  Since the injuries, his development has been accelerated because there’s honestly not much talent left to fill the gaps.  He’s talented as well and was truly one of my favorite picks from this year’s draft.

But what’s alarming is the news that he picked up $14K tab for the defensive line for their annual dinner with this year’s being at the swanky, yet pricey Mastro’s Restaurant off the West Loop in Uptown.

He asked about this during media availability and he just quipped with “you know, d-linemen

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we like to eat.”  It was certainly a quote that was in jest but with Watkins set to make $465K in base salary, that’s a tall order for a rookie to handle.  You have figure that half of his annual salary goes to taxes, agent/attorney fees with the earning numbers looking a lot different once those deductions are made.

I’m not all about re-inventing the wheel — as this certainly helps with team camaraderie — but more rookies should be involved to split the tab instead of just one poor soul.

I think about safety K.J. Dillon who picked up a $16K tab around this time last year during the annual dinner.  He’s no longer with the Texans as he was cut earlier in the season but has found a home with the Arizona Cardinals on the practice squad.  He’s not making the money that he would have if he were on the active roster and you wonder how much of hit these guys take for doing these forced acts of benevolence.

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This is likely more money than any of these guys have made in their lives and it would be disheartening to see it squandered on something senseless.  But I digress….

Regardless, Watkins has had a mostly solid showing in the time that he’s had.  The 4th-rounder out of Clemson U has a nearly-passing Pro Football Focus overall grade of a 65.0 with 286 snaps of action.  He also has amassed seven tackles and one pass defensed through 11 games — five starts — through 2017.

Go Texans.