Houston Texans Finally Decide to Put Deshaun Watson on Trading Block

Whether they'll be able to find a trade partner is another matter entirely

Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson participates in warmups prior to a game.
Carmen Mandato/Getty

Likely omitted from an ESPN list of the top quarterbacks in the NFL earlier this month due to uncertainty about whether he’ll be able to get on the football field due to an off-field legal situation, Deshaun Watson is finally on the trading block.

Per reports from ESPN and the NFL Network, the Houston Texans are now willing to listen to trade offers for their star quarterback and have been open to dealing the 25-year-old for some time.

Watson, who reported to training camp on Sunday morning in order to avoid being fined $50,000 per day for missing practice sessions, has made it clear he wants out of Houston. Until now, the Texans had been adamant that they were not interested in granting Watson’s request. However, that stance apparently has changed and Houston is now looking to get back a package including at least three first-round picks and starting-caliber players in exchange for Watson.

That’s a high price to pay for a player who is being investigated by both the NFL and police after being accused in 22 separate lawsuits filed in March and April of sexual assault and misconduct during massage sessions. Barring a settlement, that situation is not likely going to be resolved prior to the season and will hang like a dark cloud over Watson, wherever he is.

His personal QB coach, Quincy Avery, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday that he expects it will not be in Houston. “I’m 100% sure he’ll be traded at some point in the coming future,” Avery said. “I think the Texans have made the decision to move on. He doesn’t want to be there, they’re ready to move on; all they’re waiting for is fair market value for him, and they’ll get a lot.”

Per ESPN sources, the Texans have had preliminary discussions with other teams about Watson, but don’t feel they have received a serious offer for their franchise QB. Whether a serious offer is coming for a player who may not be able to take the field this season and will bring a ton of negative coverage if he does is far from a certainty. First-round picks and starters for Watson would be a big price to pay even if he was baggage-free. As the situation stands now, that asking price seems downright unrealistic. That being said, a QB-needy team may choose to roll the dice and pay it.

A three-time Pro Bowler in his four seasons in the NFL, Watson threw for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions last season while quarterbacking a terrible Texans team. The talent is there. Unfortunately for him and the Texans, so are the allegations.

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