After months of denying interest and rejecting calls about star quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Houston Texans finally shifted their stance on his availability. The Texans are now willing to listen to trade offers for Watson, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Watson, who reported to Texans’ training camp last week in order to avoid the CBA-mandated $50,000-a-day fine, has an incredibly high price tag.
The Texans have been asking for the moon in return for the 26-year-old playmaker, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. A package of high draft picks and players are the demanded price, and it makes sense as long as Watson’s legal situation plays out favorably for the former Clemson Tiger.
Notably, Watson is the subject of 22 civil suits that accuse him of coercive and lewd behavior. No criminal charges have been filed yet. The NFL has thus far opted against placing Watson on the commissioner’s exception list, which would essentially serve as an administrative suspension until the league decides Watson is again eligible to play. There are multiple directions this saga could go depending on investigations and the NFL can serve punishment regardless of what happens in court.
It’s clear the Texans want a haul in return for Watson even if he misses time in 2021. Locked into a new five-year, $156 million deal, Watson is considered a long-term asset. He’s one of the top-five quarterbacks in the league and will change a franchise upon his arrival.
We’re looking at six teams that would immediately jump to contender status if they can land Watson. Each franchise can offer a unique trade package and roster to entice both the Texans and for Watson to waive his no-trade clause.