With Deshaun Watson’s legal issues seemed to be cleared up mostly, a line of teams have been banging on the door to acquire him, and he’s been meeting with interested teams since Monday, and will continue to this week. Here’s what we know so far.
The Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, and Carolina Panthers have met with Watson, and have had their trade packages approved by the Houston Texans beforehand. ESPN reported that the Atlanta Falcons are a “sleeper” team for Watson, and will meet with him on Wednesday, which means basically the entire NFC South is trying to land Watson.
What the Texans Want
Three 1st round picks, additional draft picks, and/or players in any deal for Watson.
Baker Mayfield had a very promising rookie season with the Browns in 2019, but after then has been hot and cold, along with a string of injuries. With Jarvis Landry ($16M) and JC Tretter ($8M), the Browns are clearing up cap space to make a big move, and with where their roster is at right now, landing a top 5 QB would take their roster to the next level.
The Panthers have made a couple attempts to fix the QB position, trading for Sam Darnold & picking up his $18M fifth year option, and signing Cam Newton late in the season. Clearly, none of their moves have worked, leaving them trading even more premium picks & players for a new QB, which would most likely include DJ Moore.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have frantically been trying to clear cap space for Watson, restructuring DE Marcus Davenport’s deal, and extending CB Bradley Roby. Watson has been looking to land on a team with a big deep threat receiver like he used to have with DeAndre Hopkins, and Michael Thomas would fit that mold perfectly.
The Falcons came out of nowhere today and entered the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, despite vehemently backing Matt Ryan in any trade rumors. Bringing Watson in would likely mean he brings in a Free Agent WR or two with him, which would already boost their offense back into the top of the league.