Embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson might have an exit strategy from his toxic relationship with the Houston Texans.
Talks with the Miami Dolphins to trade Watson have intensified.
Dolphins’ deal with the Texans for Deshaun Watson “could go down this week,” per @McClain_on_NFL
The NFL trade deadline is on Nov. 2 pic.twitter.com/0ovY6qEtpi
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 20, 2021
Multiple reports have said the Texans and Dolphins could have a trade done by the end of the week. However, if unable to complete a deal this week, it should be done by the NFL’s Nov. 2 trade deadline.
Ironically, the Texans play in Miami on Nov. 7.
Watson requested a trade after his last season. Projected to be the Texans franchise quarterback, Watson has rejected the tag.
Many teams in addition to the Dolphins have been interested in Watson. Reports are that Watson rejected potential trades to other teams but has approved a deal to Miami.
The Brass Ring
According to reports, Texans general manager Nick Caserio has been in talks with Dolphins general manager Chris Grier for months.
Not surprisingly, Caserio and Miami’s coach, Brian Flores, worked together for 11 years in New England. Reports are that Flores wants Watson. Also, owner Dolphins Stephen Ross wants his team to acquire Watson.
*Dolphins: Want to trade for Deshaun Watson*
Tua after not even being a starter for a full season: pic.twitter.com/lQrCXg4h1M
— Joe Burrows Burgers (@BurgersBurrows) October 20, 2021
However, for Watson, many unanswered questions lie off the field.
More than 20 civil lawsuits against Deshaun Watson have accused the Texans quarterback of inappropriate conduct and sexual assault. The first three lawsuits were filed on March 16 and 17 related to separate incidents involving accusations from multiple massage therapists.
In one of the lawsuits, the filing attorney wrote that Watson’s behavior is part of a “disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” per reports.
The NFL Reaction
The NFL has not yet decided whether to put Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on paid leave due to the allegations. Simply put, Watson has never been charged with a crime, so the NFL doesn’t have to do anything.
Ten of Watson’s accusers have filed criminal complaints, and there are ongoing investigations by the Houston Police Department and the NFL.
All these reports on Deshaun Watson close to the Dolphins deal are coming from Houston reporters today. Good reporters too. But clearly the Texans want this out there.
— Will Manso (@WillManso) October 20, 2021
However, the Texans have already placed Watson on paid leave, although he is not on the commissioner exempt list. The Texans are currently paying Watson his base salary of $10.54 million this season.
His extension kicks in next year, when his base salary escalates to $35 million. Watson has a no-trade clause in the four-year, $156 million contract extension he signed before 2020 with the Texans.
Watson has covered himself professionally and reported to training camp to keep from being fined $50,000 a day. He also goes in each day, works out independently, attends meetings, and is inactive on game days.
Reports are that the Dolphins would prefer Watson’s legal issues be resolved before closing on the negotiations and finalizing a trade.
Currently, the Dolphins have second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Tua Tagovailoa trying to convince the Miami Dolphins front office not to trade him for Deshaun Watson pic.twitter.com/KAEm7KwbHU
— Rich (@UptownDC_Rich) October 20, 2021
The Texans and Dolphins have a 1-5 record and are on a five-game losing streak. Last season Miami was 10-6 and was projected as a possible playoff team. The Texans went 4-12, although Watson had 382 completions on 544 attempts. He made 33 touchdowns and threw seven interceptions.
However, there is a potential risk of paid leave for any team that gets Watson based on the investigation. Houston views Watson as a ten-year investment, not a short-term move.
Still, teams have to factor in Watson not being on the field until 2022 at the earliest.