Update: Deshaun Watson is headed to the Browns.
Deshaun Watson gets a fully guaranteed 5 year $230M contract. That is $80M more than the previous record for fully guaranteed money at signing ($150M). This deal was negotiated by David Mulugheta of Athletes First. https://t.co/nQls9WRpD1— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2022
The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints have both made trade offers for the Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract and wants to meet with teams before waiving that clause. Teams will also want to meet with the quarterback, as he has been accused of by 22 women of sexual misconduct. The NFL could still suspend Watson despite a grand jury not finding enough evidence to charge the quarterback.
Other teams are also interested, but so far the Panthers and Saints appear to have the most interest. There is no doubting the skill that Watson brings to the table, but teams will need to balance a possible suspension along with sentiment of their fan base.
The Texans have reportedly been asking for as much as three first round picks for the quarterback who has refused to play for the team.
Deshaun Watson’s latest trade news, rumors
In surprising news, the Browns have traded for Watson, per Ian Rapoport. The Texans will get three No. 1 picks and two later round picks in exchange.
Watson will take the weekend to mull over his choice between the Falcons and Saints, per Aaron Wilson.
The Panthers are no longer in the mix to trade for Watson, per Adam Schefter.
Carolina has been informed it is out on Deshaun Watson, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2022
NFL reporter Dov Kleiman says the Browns and Panthers are out on Watson, making the Saints and Falcons the remaining contenders for his services. Of course, there’s always the chance a mystery team swoops in and goes for the Texans QB.
Both the #Panthers and #Browns are out on Deshaun Watson.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 17, 2022
It's coming down to #Saints [favorite] vs the #Falcons
One way or another, Watson will play the team he doesn't pick at least twice next season. pic.twitter.com/yuuPgcGpWt
The Browns have been informed that they are out of the running on Watson, per Adam Schefter.
It appears that Watson wants to play in a dome or close to where he grew up about an hour from Atlanta or both.
Saints are working hard to convince Deshaun Watson to waive his no-trade clause for them, per league sources. Decision is expected to ultimately come down to Saints vs. Falcons. Saints have been characterized as a leader for Watson. Maintained dialogue since first meeting— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 17, 2022
Watson will meet with the Falcons today, per Tom Pelissero. The winds appear to have turned a bit toward the Saints as the favorites over the Panthers, but there is nothing definitive yet.
Apparently, Watson’s interest in the Falcons is real and owner Arthur Blank is fond of him. Watson is from Georgia so there’s a connection, but the team is severely depleted at the skill positions and has a long-time incumbent in Matt Ryan. It’s hard to see how this move would work but the Falcons are in play.
I’m told QB Deshaun Watson has interest in the Atlanta Falcons and has even reached out to the franchise personally, per source. https://t.co/wdQfgaXGjR— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 15, 2022
The Panthers appear close to making a trade and have put up three first round picks, plus Jeremy Chin and Brian Burns, per Todd Hampton. Watson has reportedly waived his no-trade clause for the Panthers, making a deal possible.
Deshaun Watson to Carolina deal could be finalized as early as tomorrow evening. I’m told package includes 3 first round picks + Jeremy Chinn & Brian Burns. Source out of Mint St. telling me DW has waived his no trade clause after meeting with Panthers brass today— Todd Hampton (@ToddHamptonIII) March 15, 2022
Watson has visited with the Panthers and Saints and now will head to Cleveland to talk with the Browns, per Mary Kay Cabot. According to Cabot, Baker Mayfield might not be a part of of a possible trade deal.