As sexual misconduct allegations and lawsuits continue to mount against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, there are reasonable questions about whether or not teams are still interested in trading for him. Yes, he’s one of the most talented players in the league, but obviously these allegations should be taken very seriously. Despite that, Ian Rapoport said on the Pat McAfee Show on Monday that teams today would still make a deal for Watson, if Houston changed their stance and decided to put their franchise QB on the market.
“There’s probably four or five teams with the capital and the opportunity to get him,” Rapoport said.
The immediate follow up question obviously becomes, who are those four or five teams Rapoport alluded to? McAfee’s crew started going through their list with Rapoport. The Patriots: no. The Dolphins: don’t rule them out. How about the Bears? Reports came out that they offered the Seahawks three 1st-round picks, a 3rd-rounder, plus two starters. Could they offer a similar package for Watson?
“They could, as a matter of fact,” Rapoport said.
With that, McAfee unsurprisingly got excited and started considering fantasy trades between Chicago and Houston. Would the Texans take on Andy Dalton? What would Houston’s quarterback room look like after the move? Etc.
But before anyone in the studio got ahead of themselves, Rapoport reminded everyone that this all hinges on one big caveat.
“Here’s the problem: I haven’t gotten any sense that the Texans would actually trade him,” Rapoport said. “From the conversations I’ve had with the teams that have called the Texans, it’s always been like, ‘I’ll talk about anyone but the quarterback.’ So maybe they do it, maybe something changes dramatically. I just haven’t gotten any sense at all that the Texans would trade him right now, or any time soon.”
This doesn’t preclude a deal from happening at some point. If Watson is serious about holding out and doesn’t report to camp, or indicates he won’t play Week 1, the Texans could fold and trade him away. Pace is certainly no stranger to last minute deals either. In 2018, he traded for Khalil Mack with less than a week before the regular season began, after Mack made it clear he was done in Oakland without a long-term deal.
Could that happen again? Right now, both Houston and Watson seem entrenched on their respective sides. But one of them is going to have to budge at some point. If Texans GM Nick Caserio is the one who blinks, it seems like the Bears will be in the mix for a blockbuster deal.