Deshaun Watson currently is facing severe legal trouble with seven sexual assault lawsuits filed against him, five more coming and potentially 10 more in the works. With Watson now embroiled in legal issues and the NFL set to investigate whether or not he violated the league's personal conduct policy, conventional wisdom would dictate the Houston Texans would have a more difficult time trading their disgruntled star quarterback now than before the lawsuits arose.
However, that might not be the case.
The Houston Chronicles Aaron Wilson reported Sunday, citing sources, that six teams still remain interested in Watson despite his current legal issues, including the 49ers. According to Wilson the 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos remain willing trade partners for the Texans should they decided to engage in trade talks for the 25-year-old star quarterback.
"We need to know more facts before making a firm decision on a trade, but, yes, we're still interested. How could you not be interested in Deshaun Watson possibly being your quarterback? The guy is an incredible talent," an anonymous NFL executive told Wilson.
Of course, anyone trading for Watson now would face the risk of acquiring a quarterback who could be suspended without pay or put on the commissioner's exempt list while the lawsuits proceed and still have to pay him.
Watson has denied any wrongdoing and his attorney has said they would have a response to the allegations this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to return as the starter in 2021, but the 49ers could look to draft a top prospect in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft or try and swing a deal for Watson, a generational talent who is just entering the prime of his career.
But the 49ers, and the other teams still interested in a deal, will almost certainly wait for more clarity on Watson's legal troubles before committing to a deal for the star quarterback.