League sources told ESPN, NFL Media and the Houston Chronicle on Thursday that Watson spoke with Culley last week. In that meeting, Watson informed Culley that he has no plans to suit up for the team again.
It was the first conversation between Culley and Watson, who is upset over the way the franchise has operated in recent years. The three-time Pro Bowl selection officially requested a trade last month and has had minimal contact with the team since last season concluded.
However, the Texans' position on Watson -- who signed a four-year, $156 million contract last September that included $111 million guaranteed -- remains unchanged. According to reports, Houston is unwilling to talk about trading Watson with other teams. Those clubs have resorted to leaving voicemails with their trade offers.
Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair recently told The Chronicle: "Deshaun is a Texan, and he's going to be a Texan."
Culley, who was hired last month, said in his introductory news conference that he expected Watson to stay with the team in 2021.
If the Texans refuse to trade Watson, the former Clemson star could opt not to report to mandatory team activities or training camp. Houston can fine him $95,877 for missing minicamp and $50,000 per day for sitting out each day of training camp.
The team can also dock Watson one week's salary -- about $620,000 -- for each preseason game missed. In the unlikely scenario that Watson decides to retire, the Texans can collect $21.6 million.
Watson established career highs in passing yards (4,823), passing touchdowns (33) and completion percentage (70.2%) in the 2020 season. He also threw a career-low seven interceptions.