The Texans appear resigned to the fact that Deshaun Watson will not be their quarterback much longer.
There were already signs that Houston was preparing for Watson’s eventual departure in wake of his offseason trade request. It signed veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor during free agency and spent its first 2021 NFL Draft pick on Stanford QB Davis Mills.
Now, the team is apparently listening to trade offers for Watson. However, he won’t come cheap.
As NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports, the Texans are still apparently looking to trade Watson for a package that includes “at least three first-round picks and more.”
The #Texans are now willing to listen — and have been for some time — to trade offers for star QB Deshaun Watson, multiple sources tell me and @RapSheet. But the price is high for a player of his caliber, and should be. It’d likely take at least three first-round picks and more.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 26, 2021
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that the price could be even higher and could include a combination of five high draft picks and starting-caliber players.
For Deshaun Watson, the @Texans price has been some combination of 5 high draft picks and starting caliber players, per two league executives.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) July 26, 2021
That said, it’s hard to imagine an NFL team paying that price for the 25-year-old quarterback despite his obvious talents. Why? He faces 23 civil lawsuits that accuse him of inappropriate conduct and sexual assault.
Watson could face an NFL suspension in addition to the potential legal action that stems from these lawsuits. That would explain why no team has asked Watson whether he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause to accommodate a trade.
Until Watson’s legal issues are resolved, teams will likely avoid him. But that won’t stop the Texans from shopping him as the team looks to accelerate what could be a long rebuild.