Patriots

Could Deshaun Watson be traded to AFC East before Week 1?

Patriots

Is the stalemate between Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans about to be broken?

There's "mounting chatter" that the Texans could trade their star quarterback "in the coming days," Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported Saturday, citing "executives from teams not directly involved in the discussions."

The Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers are considered the two favorites to land Watson with the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles in the mix as well, per Florio.

Curran: Charlie Weis not at all surprised by Mac Jones' fast start

Watson's status very much is up in the air: He faces 22 active civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, any of which could result in criminal punishment and/or NFL discipline. The 25-year-old has been practicing sporadically with the Texans but has yet to play in a preseason game and reportedly has no desire to remain with Houston this season.

While the Dolphins have a promising young QB in Tua Tagovailoa (the team's Week 1 starter against the New England Patriots), Watson would be a significant upgrade if he plays. The three-time Pro Bowler led the NFL in passing yards last season and also would present a challenge for New England, a team he's beaten twice with a 102.1 passer rating over four career games.

The Panthers also make sense as a landing spot for Watson. Carolina traded for Sam Darnold this offseason, but a combination of Watson and running back Christian McCaffrey would significantly improve the offense.

 

It's still unclear whether Watson will even see the field this year, but it sounds like Texans general manager Nick Caserio is close to making a decision on his QB before the season starts.

UPDATE (1 p.m. ET): The Panthers reportedly don't have interest in a Watson trade, which would leave the Dolphins as the lone front-runner.