Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson has made it clear he wants out of Houston, as reports that the 25-year-old star officially requested a trade broke on Thursday.
Although the Texans have shown little desire to move their franchise signal-caller, there doesn't appear to be much hope of the two sides reconciling.
If Houston does ultimately decide to field offers for Watson, they'll have plenty of suitors ready. After all, Watson is arguably a top-five quarterback in the NFL, under contract for four more seasons, and just entering the prime of his career.
So, where could Watson end up?
Speaking on WFAN's Moose and Maggie show, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport said that he senses Houston would want to trade Watson to an NFC team.
"My sense is that they would rather trade him to the NFC, because why would you want to face him, ever, unless it's like in the Super Bowl?" Rapoport said.
The reasoning makes sense. If Watson were to switch conferences, Houston would only have to face him once every four years. If Watson were to stay in the AFC, the Texans would have to face him once every three seasons, at the minimum.
In the NFC, there were two teams Rapoport specifically mentioned that would make sense for Watson: Carolina and Washington.
"The Carolina Panthers would be interested. The Washington Football Team, would they be interested? They are a pretty good team who made the playoffs who do not have a quarterback," Rapoport said.
It's important to note that while Houston would prefer to trade Watson to an NFC team, ruling out the entire AFC would significantly limit their options -- and the potential return in a deal.
If Watson does become available, Washington should absolutely be interested. They have young talent on both sides of the ball, a stout defense that finished in the top five of almost every major category, and the sixth-most cap space in the league.
If Washington were to land Watson, the Football Team would catapult to not only being the NFC East favorite but one of the conference's true contenders.
Throughout the interview, Rapoport reiterated the Texans have no interest in trading Watson and have not truly fielded any offers.
However, Rapoport said it is "almost impossible" a Watson trade waits until the NFL Draft (April 29-May 1). With the cap number expected to drop, Rapoport expects any trade to be done before the new league year and when free agency begins (March 17).
Watson also has a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he would have to sign off on any trade in order for the deal to go through.
So, while Houston might be holding their ground and not fielding offers for now, there's a chance that could change, and soon.