This story has run the entire gauntlet. Young star quarterback requests a trade after dumpy owner reneges on his promise to allow him to have say on the general manager hiring, star quarterback gets hit with sexual assault allegations, football team can’t trade him so they pay him not to play football, player sees his market dry up, the market opens back up after learning he won’t face criminal charges, and now, a year later, Watson could be moved soon. The newest rumor-report-lie-guess-prediction is Watson is meeting with Carolina, New Orleans, and Cleveland, so he can decide if he wants to waive his no-trade clause.
Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson is expected to meet in the next 48 hours with the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, amongst other teams, per league sources. Watson wants to meet with them just as they want to meet with him before trade talks ramp up.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2022
The Browns, despite having Baker Mayfield, reportedly will be meeting with Deshaun Watson. https://t.co/Ln63NSv5WY— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 15, 2022
Carolina has the sixth overall pick, but is missing their second and third round pick because of Sam Darnold. New Orleans has their entire collection of picks, but is picking 18th, lost Sean Payton this past offseason and is in salary cap hell after continuously pushing it to next season with Drew Brees’s death rattle. And Cleveland has their picks, is picking 13th overall, and similar to Carolina, has a collection of young talent they could move for Watson.
The Texans can rebuild their entire defense by trading him to Carolina, can acquire numerous picks and older veteran defensive players by trading him to New Orleans, and can snag picks and young talent across the board by moving him to Cleveland. Personally, I think Carolina can make the best offer, but all bets are off as this long tumultuous never ending story comes to an end.
Nick Caserio has to nail this trade. His entire career will be defined by it. If he knocks it out, Houston can springboard this to the next good Texans team. If he doesn’t, the Texans will spend the next few years failing to rebuild, and will have to start anew with someone else.
UPDATE: The Atlanta Falcons have entered the chat.
The Falcons have emerged as a sleeper team to acquire Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, league sources tell @mortreport and me. The Falcons join the Panthers, Saints and Browns as teams that have met with, or are interested in, trading for Watson. More to come on ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2022