Saints have made trade offer for Texans QB Deshaun Watson, report says
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Saints have joined the Carolina Panthers in making a trade offer to acquire controversial quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans, according to an NFL Network report.
Watson, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, is expected to meet with both suitors “soon,” according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Saints did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
League sources have told Fox 8 that the team’s interest in Watson is real. According to Jeff Duncan, the team has done extensive research and ownership has given approval on a potential trade.
The #Saints and #Panthers have made offers for #Texans QB Deshaun Watson and are likely to meet with him soon, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. Other teams also are involved. Watson has a no-trade clause and wants to meet with teams before formally waiving it anywhere.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2022
Watson, 26, didn’t play a down last season while embroiled in 22 lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual misconduct. The accusations of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct were levied by women paid for massage sessions by the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback and former Clemson star.
However, a path to Watson returning to the field appeared to have cleared last Friday, when a grand jury in Houston decided not to indict Watson on any of the criminal complaints.
Besides the Saints and Panthers, other teams including the Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns are expected to show interest in acquiring Watson, who previously has waived his no-trade clause only for the Miami Dolphins.
Houston can agree to a trade at any time, but will require Watson’s consent in lifting the no-trade clause. No trade can be made official until the NFL’s new transaction year begins Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Watson still could be suspended for a number of games by the league, if the NFL determines through its own investigation that the quarterback violated the league’s personal code of conduct. The NFL appeared reluctant to weigh in with its findings before the determination was made that Watson would or would not face criminal charges in Texas.
ESPN has reported that the Texans’ asking price for Watson includes three first-round draft picks, other draft picks and at least one established NFL player. Of the rumored teams interested in Watson, the Panthers hold the highest first-round pick in next month’s draft (No. 6 overall). Houston already holds the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft.
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