A blockbuster trade involving Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson seems increasingly imminent and the Miami Dolphins are reportedly the frontrunners to land the 25-year-old quarterback.
Reports surfaced Saturday morning that many around the league expected Watson to be traded in the coming days. The Dolphins and Carolina Panthers were viewed as the favorites, with Panthers’ beat writers indicating the team was not expected to land him.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, the Dolphins have emerged as the frontrunners to land Watson with discussions ongoing. Houston is still setting a high asking price, seeking three first-round picks and two second-round picks.
Watson demanded a trade in January, citing issues with the Texans’ organization. Once the hottest name on the trade market, teams started backing away after nearly two dozen women accused Watson of sexual misconduct.
Watson is currently facing 22 civil suits and 10 criminal complaints, with a number of masseuses accusing the Texan’s quarterback of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, misconduct and sexual assault.
According to Robinson, the Dolphins are among the teams pushing for pick protections in any trade. In the eyes of the organization, they believe there should be safety nets in the event Watson is found guilty of sexual assault or is later handed a lengthy suspension by the NFL.
While the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos were also involved in negotiations, Watson has long preferred the Dolphins.
The NFL isn’t expected to place Deshaun Watson on the Commissioner’s Exempt list until all three criminal investigations into allegations against him conclude. Until that happens, he would be allowed to play in the upcoming season.