The Miami Dolphins are still seen as the "most aggressive suitor" for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson ahead of the 2021 NFL trade deadline.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported the Texans are hopeful to have a deal in place for Watson and several other veteran players before the Nov. 2 deadline.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported the Dolphins are "very heavily engaged" in talks, though the Texans have not moved off their asking price of three first-round picks.
FOX Sports: NFL @NFLonFOX
According to <a href="https://twitter.com/JayGlazer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JayGlazer</a>, the Dolphins and the Texans are still engaged in trade talks for Deshaun Watson.<br><br>Glazer has the latest on that and more: <a href="https://t.co/J4sFeKgW1Z">pic.twitter.com/J4sFeKgW1Z</a>
Watson has not played this season because of ongoing sexual assault allegations. He currently faces 22 lawsuits alleging sexual assault and misconduct. Houston police and the NFL are also investigating the claims.
The Dolphins have been regularly mentioned as the top suitor for Watson despite both the civil lawsuits and criminal investigations continuing. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores addressed the rumors this week, throwing his support behind Tua Tagovailoa.
"I don't really get into rumors. Tua is our quarterback," Flores told reporters Friday. "I'm happy with our quarterback situation, and I will leave it at that."
There is no guarantee Watson would be eligible to play immediately if he's traded. The NFL could place him on the Commissioner's Exempt list, a move it has thus far avoided because of the Texans not having any plans on playing Watson. While no criminal charges have been filed, the optics of having someone accused of serial sexual assault on the field might force the NFL's hand.
Teams have thus far been hesitant to make a trade for Watson because of his uncertain playing status. Even in the event he's cleared of criminal wrongdoing, it's likely the NFL will hand out some level of punishment under its personal conduct policy, which does not require a criminal charge or conviction. That punishment will almost certainly wait until next season, at which point Watson's criminal and civil cases will likely be decided.