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2021 NFL Trade Deadline: Multiple Reports Saying Deshaun Watson Will Not Be Traded Before Deadline

This is the way.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Houston Texans Set Number: X162051 TK1

Finally. What so many fans have been screeching for months is (about to become; there’s still about an hour before the deadline) reality. The Houston Texans are not trading Deshaun Watson, to the Miami Dolphins or anyone else, before the NFL trade deadline expires this afternoon. Here are a flurry of tweets and information from various credible sources to demonstrate the validity of the preceding statement.

As observers have said here at BRB and elsewhere, this was always the smart move. Waiting until the offseason to trade Deshaun Watson provides the opportunity to (1) know exactly where any 2022 draft picks coming to Houston in a Watson deal will fall, thanks to the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season and the resulting slotting of draft picks according to team record; (2) allow additional suitors in the form of other quarterback-needy teams to enter the negotiations; and (3) gain greater clarity on the status and/or outcome of Watson’s off-the-field legal exposure as well as any possible subsequent suspension from the NFL for his conduct stemming from same.

Granted, the risk of Watson’s criminal and/or civil liability growing or becoming worse between now and the offseason is real, but that has to be a lesser consideration for Nick Caserio right now. Caserio’s overriding goal has to be maximizing the return the Texans receive for their franchise quarterback, and there’s simply a sizably better chance of achieving that goal between the end of the 2021 season and the beginning of the 2022 NFL Draft. Standing pat and not being forced into making a lesser deal due to an artificial deadline is wise.

Presumably, this means Watson will continue to occupy a roster spot for the remainder of the season despite never setting foot on the field, and speculation about his future will swirl unabated. Not ideal, but that’s a far more tolerable discomfort than failing to properly recoup assets for the rarest of NFL commodities—a young, franchise quarterback signed to a long-term contract.