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ESPN’s Josina Anderson recently tweeted that the Texans “still haven’t had any discussions internally or externally” about dealing Watson. That report came after new Houston head coach David Culley told the media that Watson is the team’s starting quarterback “right now.”
With Watson having made it clear that he no longer wants to be in Houston, when could the 25-year-old be heading to a new team? NFL Network’s Jim Trotter believes any move could still be more than a month away.
“Right now, there is no deadline for the Texans to do a deal. As we get closer to the draft, that’s when I believe things will ultimately heat up,” Trotter said during a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen Show.
NFL free agency begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, but Monday was the start of the legal tampering period. And several quarterbacks have already reportedly come off the market. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Jameis Winston is returning to the New Orleans Saints on a one-year contract, while Ryan Fitzpatrick is signing a one-year deal with the Washington Football Team.
However, there are still teams with uncertain quarterback situations. And considering Watson passed for an NFL-high 4,823 yards and 33 touchdowns (both career highs) last season, there will likely continue to be teams with interest in trading for him.
If the Texans decide to move Watson, they should receive a big return.
“The Texans are not simply going to give him away,” Trotter said on The Rich Eisen Show. “… He could set the market for what compensation should be involved in a trade of this magnitude.”
One team that reportedly would have interest in trading for Watson is the Carolina Panthers. On Sunday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said during an appearance on SportsCenter the Panthers are “inclined to big-game hunt” for Watson if the Texans look to deal him.
Fowler noted that Watson would “at least be intrigued” by the idea of going to Carolina. The Panthers have Teddy Bridgewater set to begin his second season as the team’s starting quarterback, but Watson would provide an upgrade at the position.
Watson’s situation began when he made it known he was unhappy about the Texans’ process when hiring general manager Nick Caserio in January, then informed Culley that he “has no intention of suiting up for the team again,” according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
Watson signed a four-year, $156 million extension prior to the 2020 season and is under contract until 2026. Since inking that deal, Houston went 4-12 last season and then cut ties with star defensive end J.J. Watt, releasing him in February.
Perhaps Watson could be the next big-name player on his way out of Houston. It may just not happen in the next few weeks.