Deshaun Watson Included on Texans' 53-Man Roster amid Dolphins Trade Rumors

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 31, 2021

FILE- In an Aug. 2, 2021 file photo, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson practices with the team during NFL football practice in Houston. Attorneys involved in the lawsuits accusing Watson of sexual assault and harassment say the FBI has become involved in the case. Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the 22 women who have sued Watson, said Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021 he and some of his clients have spoken with FBI agents about the allegations against Watson.(AP Photo/Justin Rex_file)
AP Photo/Justin Rex_file

The Houston Texans have included quarterback Deshaun Watson on their 53-man roster amid rumors that the Miami Dolphins and others are interested in trading for the 25-year-old.

James Palmer of NFL Network said that it wasn't a surprise that Watson wasn't traded before rosters league-wide were cut down to 53 players, noting that the Texans were looking to extract the most value out of any potential deal:

James Palmer @JamesPalmerTV

It’s not a surprise QB Deshaun Watson wasn’t traded before rosters went to 53. And that’s because something was made clear to me during my time in Houston during training camp. My report on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a> <a href="https://t.co/Cbj12FZg6I">pic.twitter.com/Cbj12FZg6I</a>

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported on Aug. 28 that the Dolphins were the "frontrunner" for Watson while noting that the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles were in "some element of trade consideration":

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

Thread. Sources tell <a href="https://twitter.com/YahooSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@yahoosports</a> the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dolphins?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dolphins</a> have emerged as the frontrunner in trade discussions with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Texans?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Texans</a> for QB Deshaun Watson. The Texans are seeking 3 first-round picks and 2 second-round picks in negotiations, according to a team that dropped out of trade talks.

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

Sources said teams have angled for pick protections in any trade, to mitigate a potential <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a> suspension or criminal prosecution tied to ongoing investigations by the FBI, Harris County prosecutor and Houston PD, into sexual assault allegations from multiple women.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk added Tuesday that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross "really wants" Watson but that Houston and Miami have been unable to reach an agreement.

Twenty-two women have filed civil lawsuits against Watson alleging sexual assault and misconduct during massage therapy appointments. Per Aaron Reiss of The Athletic, at least 10 women have filed criminal complaints, including two who have not filed civil lawsuits.

The Houston Police Department, FBI and NFL are all conducting investigations in the allegations.

Watson had previously made a trade request in January, per ESPN's Sarah Barshop.

Watson has played four NFL seasons since Houston selected him with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2017 draft. The three-time Pro Bowler accounted for 36 touchdowns (33 passing, three rushing) and an NFL-high 4,823 passing yards (8.9 yards per attempt) last season.