In one of the most bizarre sports stories in recent memory, Deshaun Watson remains eligible to play in the NFL but has been inactive ever since 22 women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Interestingly, ESPN insider Chris Mortensen still believes that Watson will play in the NFL this season. Here is Mortensen with Jake Asman on ESPN 97.5 Houston:
Mortensen clarifies he is not reporting that Watson will play this season, but that is his opinion. That said, Mort’s opinions are more informed and newsworthy than most pundits’ sources.
If the Texans trade Watson before the Nov. 2 trade deadline, they may need to lower their demands. By a lot. According to a Yahoo Sports report in late August, Houston is seeking three first-round and two second-round picks in exchange for Watson. At that price, no team would look at Watson, given his cloudy future.
The NFL could place Watson on the Commissioner Exempt List as soon as a team acquires him. Remember, Houston is inadvertently doing the NFL a favor by not playing Watson and not forcing the league to enforce a punishment before it completes his criminal probe. The NFL may still suspend Watson for a significant time this season or next.
That uncertainty does not equal five picks in the first two rounds of the draft.
As for trade destinations, Miami makes the most sense. The Dolphins have a Super Bowl roster, aside from the QB position. However, if the team racks up wins with Tua Tagovailoa early this season, why risk selling the house for Watson? Tua and the Dolphins are off to a 1-0 start.
Other teams that have question marks at the QB position moving forward include the Panthers, Broncos, Football Team, Giants (I think?), Eagles, and Vikings. But keep in mind, two better QBs without the baggage and uncertainty could be available this offseason. According to Ian Rapoport, the futures of both Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson remain up in the air.
Even the thought of trading for Rodgers or Wilson is enough to forget about Watson. I would stay away from Deshaun Watson this season. And my guess is most teams will.