Deshaun Watson 'Interested' in Broncos, Says Former Teammate Kareem Jackson

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2021

Denver Broncos strong safety Kareem Jackson (22) and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) shake hands prior to an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson said he's been in contact with former teammate Deshaun Watson and believes the Houston Texans quarterback has interest in the Broncos if he's traded.

"I had a couple of conversations with him," Jackson told TMZ Sports in an interview released Thursday. "Just with him saying that Denver is a place that's he's interested in landing."

Denver selected Drew Lock in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft. He showed some promising signs late in his rookie season but struggled to build on that initial success, as he accumulated 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions across 13 appearances in 2020.

In January, Broncos president of football operations John Elway said new general manager George Paton would have the freedom to seek out a quarterback change if he saw fit.

"The quarterback is the most important position in sports," Paton told reporters. "If you don't have stability at quarterback, you're going to have a hard time sustaining winning. I think we all want the franchise quarterback, and that's the No. 1 goal is trying to draft and develop or acquire any way you can."

Jackson said the team hasn't given up on Lock, but he believes Watson is a "special" player who can transform any talent-laden roster into a Super Bowl threat.

"I mean, if Deshaun Watson goes anywhere, they are automatically contenders," he told TMZ. "If he has pieces around him, he's an automatic contender."

Watson, who's requested a trade, ranked second in the NFL with a 112.4 passer rating in 2020, but the Texans could only manage a 4-12 record despite the QB's performance.

The sides are seemingly headed toward a prolonged staredown, however, with Houston general manager Nick Caserio suggesting they aren't going to move the three-time Pro Bowler.

"And, you know, we have zero interest in trading the player," Caserio said recently. "We have a great plan, a great vision for him and for this team and his role on our team. We look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring."

Watson is under contract through 2025 as part of a four-year, $156 million deal, so his only recourse would be threatening to sit out until he's traded.

The Broncos would be one of numerous teams that would likely reach out to the Texans if the front office changes course and decides to evaluate trade offers.