Deshaun Watson to Meet With 2 NFL Teams Following Trade Rumors

Deshaun Watson is close to making a return to the NFL after not playing last year. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Houston Texans quarterback is set to visit the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. Both teams have reportedly made trade offers to the Texans for Watson as they are looking to upgrade their QB position. 

The interest in Watson reportedly grew on Friday when a grand jury in Houston declined to indict Watson on the criminal charges against him stemming from the 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual assault and inappropriate conduct. Watson was on the Texans roster all last season but was inactive for every game. Along with the Panthers and Saints, other teams that have expressed interest are the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. 

"I know we're far from being done of handling what we need to handle on the legal side, but today is definitely a big day," Watson said Friday. "I thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ for letting the truth be heard. And I thank everyone that was a part of this for seeing and hearing both sides. That's what my point and my team wanted to do, is have a fair slate of us telling our side of the story and letting the conclusion come to what happened today, and that's what the grand jury decided on.

"I'm just going to keep fighting to rebuild my name and rebuild my appearance in the community. And on the legal side handle what we need to handle. But also ready to get on the field, and prep for that.'' ESPN says whoever trades for Watson will pick up his $35 million salary-cap number for 2022. The Panthers have $31 million of cap space while the Saints are $75 million over the cap. 

The Texans are reportedly asking for three first-round picks, other draft picks and at least one player for Watson. The reason for the high asking price is Watson is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL who is in the prime of his career. After being selected No. 12 overall by the Texans in the 2017 NFL Draft, Watson was selected to the Pro Bowl three times and led the league in passing yards in 2020. 

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If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.