Mike Florio: Deshaun Watson Trade Chatter Growing Louder

Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson / Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Deshaun Watson is still a member of the Houston Texans and he is still in the midst of dealing with nearly two dozen civil suits accusing him of sexual assault. That is all we know for sure about what's going on with the star quarterback right now.

The Texans' plan is murky right now, in part because Watson's immediate future is equally murky. The team had him report to training camp and go through drills like all was well but he hasn't played a live snap of any kind to this point. The NFL is still in the process of investigating the claims against Watson and whatever punishment they mete out will determine Watson's playing status for 2021.

Despite the uncertainty of it all, the rumor mill continues to churn around Watson and the Texans. Mike Florio published an article on Pro Football Talk today that suggests a Watson trade is in the near future. Per PFT:

Multiple executives from teams not directly involved in the discussions tell PFT that there’s mounting chatter that Watson will be traded in the coming days.

The two finalists are believed to be the Panthers and the Dolphins. (The Broncos and Eagles also had been linked to Watson.) If it happens, it would turn things upside down for whichever team gets Watson.

Even with reports like these rising to the surface, it's hard to believe Watson will actually get traded before anything is finalized, both legally and with the NFL. Strictly in a football sense, it's too much of a risk. Houston isn't going to trade Watson for peanuts and even if nobody rises to their ridiculously high asking price, trading anything could prove to be a sunk cost for this year at least. It is quite a leap of faith for any player, even one as good as Watson.

Then there's all the other issues with trading for a guy actively fighting double-digit sexual assault accusations. As in many instances before this, the talent outweighs the off-field concern in most teams' calculus. But pulling off that trade without the knowledge that Watson will even be allowed to play in 2021... It's rather difficult to see any general manager successful selling that to the team owner.

The short of it is I'll believe it when I see it. Until either the NFL announces the findings and possible penalties of its investigation or the lawsuits are resolved, Watson will probably stay put.