The Houston Texans aren’t operating from a position of much leverage in their Deshaun Watson trade talks, but that doesn’t appear to be driving down the price.
New Texans general manager Nick Caserio has had a headache for the ages since taking over, as Watson, Houston’s franchise quarterback, has made clear he wants out. Complicating matters are the slew of civil and criminal allegations of sexual misconduct against Watson, meaning at any moment he could be deemed ineligible to play based on investigations into his conduct.
With the NFL trade deadline just over a week away, however, talks reportedly are ramping up with a few teams. The Texans’ reported asking price long has been three first-round draft picks plus additional assets, and Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer explained Monday why that’s a price Caserio is unlikely to back down from.
“At this point, Houston’s carried Watson on its roster for three months with Watson coming into the building for work without really being a member of the team,” Breer wrote. “I’d expect that Caserio will hold interested teams to his price (three first-rounders, plus additional picks and/or players), mostly because Caserio knows this will likely become the defining move of his time in Houston.”
For now, the Miami Dolphins seem like the frontrunner for Watson, with the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos also lurking. Watson has some control in this situation since he has a no-trade clause, and thus far the only team he reportedly has indicated a willingness to go to is Miami.