Deshaun Watson Trade Rumors: Texans Not Likely to Move QB Before Roster Cut Deadline

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 31, 2021

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 03: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans participates in warmups prior to a game against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Houston Texans are reportedly "not expected" to trade quarterback Deshaun Watson before the deadline to trim rosters to 53 players Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported the Texans will keep Watson at least until the regular season gets underway "barring a dramatic turn."

Watson, who's facing 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints related to allegations of sexual assault or sexual misconduct toward women during massage sessions, attended training camp with Houston but didn't appear in any preseason games.

His status for the regular season is unsettled because the NFL has so far opted against placing him on the Commissioner's Exempt List.

Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 reported Monday the Texans are "prepared" to keep him on the 53-man roster and declare him inactive every week, if necessary.

The situation is complicated by a trade request Watson submitted before the allegations were made public.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Saturday the Miami Dolphins are the "frontrunner" in trade talks for the three-time Pro Bowl selection, with the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles also having shown interest, but teams are seeking "pick protections" that would go into effect pending the outcome of the multiple investigations.

Watson completed 70.2 percent of his throws for 4,823 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions across 16 games for the Texans last year. He added 444 rushing yards and three scores on the ground while ranking 12th in ESPN's Total QBR.

It creates a complex situation for Houston's front office, which under typical circumstances would be able to seek a franchise-altering cache of players and picks for a quarterback with Watson's on-field success.

For now, it appears the Texans are willing to slow-play the situation while they likely move forward with former Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns signal-caller Tyrod Taylor as their starter. Rookie Davis Mills slots in as the backup for the time being and could see some starts before season's end.

Houston kicks off the regular season Sept. 12 when it welcomes the AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars to NRG Stadium.