Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been the subject of trade rumors for months with multiple teams interested in the quarterback despite more than 20 allegations of sexual misconduct and assault. Now, there is a new development in where things stand on a potential deal.
Watson, who demanded a trade in January, has been a weekly inactive as the Texans explore their best options. Originally, Houston wanted to keep its franchise quarterback and hoped it could make things work. But it quickly became evident that Watson would never play for the franchise again.
With the 26-year-old quarterback satisfied with being sidelined and receiving his weekly salary, the NFL has been able to let the legal process unfold. But with the trade deadline just a month away (Nov. 2), reports about his next landing spot and a potential trade have resurfaced.
NFL insider Josina Anderson reported on “Undefined” that there have been no new trade talks nor a firm offer submitted and the Texans have stuck to their asking price.
From the moment Houston first started listening to offers, the price for acquiring Watson was unprecedented. The franchise remains committed to receiving three first-round picks and three additional assets, whether it’s picks or young players, in any deal.
As of now, it’s a price no team is willing to meet. There is still significant uncertainty about when Watson’s legal issues could be resolved and that clouds his availability for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Latest on a potential Deshaun Watson trade and legal situation
According to Anderson, the Dolphins haven’t had a substantive dialogue regarding the specific compensation for Watson since training camp. This, despite the fact that Tua Tagovailoa is on injured reserve. While there are reportedly members of the Dolphins’ brass ready to make a deal, owner Stephen Ross is feeling trepidation amid the allegations.
The Denver Broncos’ leadership reportedly backed off a Watson trade after multiple women came forward accusing him of sexual misconduct. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers have backed away from their original offer from the offseason after seeing quarterback Sam Darnold perform well.
- Deshaun Watson contract: $15.94 million cap hit (2021), $40.4 million cap hit (2022), $42.4 million cap hit (2023), $37.4 million cap hit (2024) and $32 million cap hit (2025)
Everyone is waiting to see how the criminal investigations and the civil cases unfold, which creates a conflict of timing with the trade deadline.
Anderson reported that there have been no recent talks about a potential settlement for the 22 joint civil cases. Depositions will begin this upcoming week, but this is viewed as just the start of a lengthy process.
As for the criminal cases, the state has not given any indication of when it will present its finding to a grand jury for potential criminal charges.
It remains possible that an NFL team desperate for a franchise quarterback accepts the risk and trades for Watson before the legal process unfolds. But if the Texans aren’t willing to significantly adjust their asking price, it’s possible a trade doesn’t happen until 2022.