Deshaun Watson Trade Rumors: Bears, WFT Among 8 Teams Interested Before Lawsuits

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson warms up beforean NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

When Deshaun Watson requested a trade away from the Houston Texans prior to his legal trouble, the opportunity appeared to be there for quarterback-needy teams to land a 25-year-old franchise cornerstone.

According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk), the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears and Washington Football Team were the eight teams interested in landing the Clemson product in a deal.

However, things have significantly changed given the civil lawsuits he is facing for allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.

Florio noted the NFL may use its Personal Conduct Policy to hand a "significant suspension" to the signal-caller regardless of how the situation plays out legally.

According to ESPN, Watson is facing almost two dozen civil suits from women who "accuse him of a range of actions during massage appointments over the past year, from refusing to cover his genitals to forced oral sex."

The Texans released a statement March 18 confirming the NFL is investigating Watson.

On April 14, ESPN's Sarah Barshop reported 22 women amended their lawsuits to include their names after two judges ruled that most of them must do so to continue with the suits.

Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, denied the allegations against his client.

As for the potential trade partners, the Jets and 49ers figure to have the opportunity to take a quarterback with the Nos. 2 and 3 picks of Thursday's NFL draft, respectively. The Panthers added Sam Darnold, the Patriots re-signed Cam Newton, Washington signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chicago added Andy Dalton.