As his situation perhaps nears a head, these five teams should make a trade for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
As Houston Texans training camp gets set to open, quarterback Deshaun Watson is set to show up while making it clear he still wants to be traded. According to NFL Media on Monday morning, the Texans are willing (and have been willing) to listen to offers, with a naturally high asking price.
Of course Watson has a huge legal situation around him right now, with 22 allegations of sexual misconduct involving massage therapists. The civil and possible criminal parts of that are not resolved or closed. Watson’s appearance at Texans camp is rooted in avoiding fines for missed days, which can’t be redacted, and not risking losing a vested year.
The Texans can be willing to listen all they want, and the asking price of “at least three first-round picks” may have already been met if not for Watson’s legal entanglement. But Watson won’t be dealt until something happens on the legal level, and as NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero noted the civil cases won’t go to trial this year.
Apart from any resolution for him legally, the NFL has to decide what they’ll do with Watson in terms of suspension, the commissioner’s exempt list, etc. As teams have apparently done their own homework on Watson’s legal situation, the Texans could come down significantly on their asking price just to move on more quickly.
There are a lot of question marks right now, but these five teams should have a trade for Watson firmly on their radar.
5 teams who should be ready to trade for Deshaun Watson
Panthers owner David Tepper has made it clear he wants a franchise quarterback, and he’ll surely have some influence over what’s done to find one. Teddy Bridgewater clearly wasn’t it, and even if getting away from Adam Gase helps him a lot Sam Darnold probably isn’t it either. Next April’s draft might provide an opportunity to secure that guy.
Early in the offseason, Carolina kept being mentioned as a suitor for Watson. He has a no-trade clause though, and through everything there have been no indications he has the Panthers high on his list of teams he’d like to go to. That said, Carolina has the pieces of a nice offense (Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Robbie Anderson) and they would be an appealing destination.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule, at least in theory, has the comfort of a long contract to build things slowly. But he may be overruled by an owner who wants to win, and it’s not as if Watson is that old (26 on Sept. 13). Bringing Watson back to the area where he play college ball at Clemson would be a nice marketing angle too.