Texans cancel mandatory minicamp after near-perfect attendance at OTAs

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(SportsRadio 610) -- The Texans are canceling mandatory minicamp next week after having near-perfect attendance at voluntary organized training activities over the past few weeks.

Aside from quarterback Deshaun Watson, who remains in a standoff with the team as his trade demand and legal situation hangs in the balance, every player on the roster participated in some part of the optional trainings.

Coaches have spent the past few weeks trying to apply concepts they had been teaching through virtual meetings.

The Texans are scheduled to begin training camp in late-July. That's when players will be evaluated in earnest.

First-year general manager Nick Caserio has turned over more than half the roster. The coaching staff, of course, is also new with head coach David Culley leading the way.

The most obvious difference in this team is the absence of Watson, who emerged as the NFL's passing leader last season.

One byproduct of canceling the mandatory minicamp is that for now, Watson avoids any fines for not attending.

This presumably gives the Texans another month to trade him before the standoff becomes more awkward and potentially confrontational with fines for Watson holding out.

Texans sources are adamant coaches and players agreed to do this pending attendance at voluntary workouts, which turned out better than expected.

"We felt like that we needed to make sure that, for at least a good four weeks during the offseason, that we had as many players here as possible, this being voluntary, to be able to learn our culture, learn our system, new defense, all of the different players that we’ve had," Culley said Wednesday. "So, what we did a month ago is we had our team leaders earlier in the offseason came to an agreement that it was more important for us to make sure that we had as many people as we needed to be here possible to be able to learn what we’re doing and with that being said, that we would forgo the minicamp because we felt like that was more important.

"That’s why we decided not to do the minicamp, because our attendance has been great for us here. We’ve got accomplished what we wanted to get accomplished. We felt like that getting them here was more important than being able to just have those two and a half days of minicamp. We feel like we got that done.”

The move is similar to the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles, who also canceled mandatory minicamps.