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Houston Texans plan on Deshaun Watson trade happening before March 16

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will finally get his wish with a blockbuster trade sending the NFL star to a new team before the 2022 league year begins this spring.

The Houston Texans shopped Watson around the league during the season, with multiple teams willing to offer three future first-round picks and additional compensation. While the Miami Dolphins came the closest to landing him, a deal didn’t come together due to Watson’s ongoing legal battles.

Watson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, is currently facing22 sexual misconduct and assault allegations. Many of his accusers were deposed in December with the civil case moving forward. Meanwhile, he is also facing 10 criminal complaints and investigations by the FBI, NFL and Houston Police Department 

  • Deshaun Watson stats (2020): 4,823 passing yards, 33-7 TD-INT ratio, 8.9 ypa, 112.4 QB rating

With a settlement expected in the civil cases this spring, a Watson trade seems to be a near certainty this offseason and it could happen shortly after the Super Bowl.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Texans have set a target date for a Watson trade being agreed to before the NFL league year begins on March 16. By moving him before that date, it would create ample cap flexibility for general manager Nick Caserio to fill out the roster this offseason.

  • Deshaun Watson contract: $40.4 million cap hit (2022), $42.4 million cap hit (2023), $37.4 million cap hit (2024) and $32 million cap hit (2025)

Houston is believed to be sold on Davis Mills as its starting quarterback for the 2022 season, seeing enough flashes from the former Stanford signal-caller in his rookie season. With the 2022 NFL Draft particularly weak at quarterback, the Texans could spend their picks acquired via a blockbuster deal on other positions.

The Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants are all viewed as potential landing spots for Watson. Because his contract includes a no-trade clause, he will have final say regarding where he plays.

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