The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints have made trade offers for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and are likely to meet with him soon, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Sunday.
On Friday, a Harris County (Texas) grand jury did not find enough evidence to charge Watson with a crime following allegations of sexual misconduct stemming from massage therapy sessions. Watson, 26, is also facing 22 civil lawsuits, but Friday’s news paved the way for accelerated trade discussions for Watson, who remains under NFL investigation and is subject to potential discipline under the league’s personal-conduct policy.
Watson requested to be traded from the Texans prior to the allegations, and he was inactive for all 17 of the Texans’ games during the 2021 NFL season.
The Panthers have been interested in potentially acquiring Watson, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, since the QB first requested a trade out of Houston, while Rapoport noted that the perpetually cash-strapped Saints have the ability to fit Watson’s contract under the salary cap. New Orleans restructured cornerback Marshon Lattimore’s contract on Saturday, which cleared $18.45 million in cap space and got the team closer to the league’s $202.8 million salary cap for the 2022 season.
Pelissero reported that the Texans’ asking price for Watson has not waived — three first-round picks and additional assets — and multiple teams currently are willing to meet that price.