Deshaun Watson Trade Rumors: Texans Listening to Offers; GM Won't Take Discount Deal

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 26, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks to pass during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
AP Photo/Matt Patterson

The Houston Texans are reportedly willing to meet Deshaun Watson's trade demand but have set a high price for the quarterback, who is facing 22 allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.

Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the price is "high" and the Texans may want as many as three first-round draft picks. 

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported general manager Nick Caserio is "determined" not to trade Watson at a discount.

With no resolution to Watson's sexual assault and misconduct cases appearing close, it's hard to see how the Texans find a trade partner willing to give up their asking price—or one even willing to trade for him at all at this moment.

Twenty-two women, most of whom are current or former massage therapists, have accused Watson of unwanted sexual acts, ranging from inappropriate touching to forced oral sex. Several of those women have spoken to Houston police, who are investigating.

The NFL is also conducting its own investigation, but for now, Watson remains a member of the Texans roster. It's possible, if not likely, he is placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List if the accusations have not been resolved on a criminal and civil level by the start of the regular season.

Watson has maintained his innocence through his attorney, saying all of the encounters were consensual.

From a trade standpoint, it's nearly impossible to imagine a scenario where Watson is moved anytime soon. Any team that acquires him in the future will face significant fan backlash; the public relations situation alone may make teams wary of trading for him at all.

The likelihood of any team giving up three first-round picks for Watson, given the off-field troubles, is almost zero. His reputation will be irreparably damaged in the eyes of many, and it remains possible that he has to admit to wrongdoing as part of a civil settlement or goes to jail if criminal charges are brought against him.

This is a situation that will likely take several more months to resolve.