As the legal process slowly unwinds, Deshaun Watson remains away from the Houston Texans OTAs, and the QB’s desire to be traded remains unchanged.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the QB’s legal future — which could include NFL punishment — several former teammates and other players around the league have recruited Watson in hopes a trade might go down before the 2021 NFL season.
One of Watson’s former teammates, Kareem Jackson, who played nine years in Houston before spending the past two in Denver, said on the “Catchin’ Fades with Aqib Talib” podcast the QB told him that he wants to join the Broncos.
“I got a great relationship with Deshaun. I’ve been talking to him the last couple weeks,” Jackson said. “All he’s been telling me is, look, Jack, just tell them that’s where I want to be. He’s like, that’s where I want to be. He’s like, I want to be in Denver. And during the time where I was going through my little free agency thing, I ended up signing back here, before I signed, he called and he was like, man, are you going to sign? I was like, I don’t know, I’m not sure yet. He was like, well, let me know what you’re going to do. And I signed back and he was like, listen, tell them I want to be in Denver.”
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport clarified Wednesday that Watson is open to several options, including Denver, but the Broncos aren’t necessarily a favorite, just one possible landing spot.
Before 22 lawsuits were filed in March and April alleging sexual assault and misconduct during massage sessions, Watson made his desire for a trade known. At the time, destinations like Miami, New England, Carolina, Philadelphia, and, yes, Denver were discussed.
Since the lawsuits became public, the rumors surrounding Watson’s future destinations have dwindled. Most teams have moved on with other plans.
The Houston Police Department opened an investigation in April following a complaint being issued against Watson and the NFL is also investigating the allegations.
With the possibility that Watson is suspended or placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List (paid leave), trading for the QB is a precarious proposition. That presumes Houston would even entertain trading the once rising star and face of the franchise. Before the lawsuits, the club seemed staunchly against a trade; now, seemingly less so.
The legal situation likely would need to be settled before the Broncos or any team would move to trade for Watson.
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