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Report: Texans Preparing To Keep Deshaun Watson On 53-Man Roster

The exempt list may not happen after all.

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Deshaun Watson situation is coming to a boil. The trade talks are ‘ramping up’, once again, like they did a month ago, but these rumors have been extinguished to some extent. The Texans aren’t getting what they want, and teams, with the sexual assault civil cases pending, aren’t going all in to acquire Houston’s franchise quarterback. Plus, without knowing what the incoming draft picks will be worth, it would take an enormous package for the Texans to move on from Watson right now. The Texans are better off keeping Watson until next next offseason.

The 2021 NFL season is set to begin next Thursday. It was expected that Deshaun Watson would end up on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, which would save the Texans a roster spot while Watson continued to get paid. This now seems unlikely to happen. Aaron Wilson, among others, has reported that the Texans are prepared to keep Watson on their active roster, pay him his $10.54 salary, and make him inactive every week. This would force Watson to attend practices and games, while sitting on the sideline, waiting for 2022 to arrive.

Keeping Watson around will cost Houston a roster spot. By keeping him on the roster, they may be trying to coerce Watson to play this season once he realizes that the trade he desires won’t happen until after the 2021 season.

Between this, the newest trade rumors, and the way this franchise operates, any outcome remains possible. Most likely, however, Watson will just sit and hang out this season as both parties table their search for new beginnings until the next offseason.