The Dolphins have reportedly emerged as a frontrunner in trade discussions for Deshaun Watson, according to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson.
The Texans are looking for three first-round picks and two second-round picks in negotiations, a team who dropped out of the talks told Robinson. The Panthers, Broncos and Eagles had previously been rumored to be involved in discussions in some way, per Robinson, but on Saturday, The Charlotte Observer, Athletic and CBS Sports reported that Carolina is not exploring trading for Watson at this time.
"Watson’s contractual right to approve the trade destination—which was signed off on by Houston ownership in his last extension—has weighed heavily in trade opportunities," Robinson tweeted.
The news comes after the Texans were reportedly at a "standstill" in Watson trade talks earlier this month as the team was allegedly not returning phone calls from other franchises, according to FOX NFL's Jay Glazer.
Watson is facing 22 active civil lawsuits and reportedly 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual misconduct. Additionally, he has spoken with the FBI in relation to the allegations. His attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a press conference that the FBI contacted his legal team in April following public allegations that one of the women suing Watson attempted to extort him.
"In April, the FBI came to us and told us they were investigating a matter as to whether one of Mr. [Tony] Buzbee's clients had committed extortion in the way they were demanding money from Deshaun or what they would do if they didn't pay it," Hardin said.
The press conference came after Buzbee said to League of Justice founder Amy Dash that the FBI met with him to discuss the Texans' quarterback. Buzbee also said the FBI spoke with several of the plaintiffs.
"I don't think they're investigating Deshaun," Hardin said in the press conference. "What they're investigating is the allegations Buzbee has made in his lawsuits. I didn't know about that until yesterday, and then I checked it out and it's true. They are."
Even before the first lawsuit was filed, Watson was adamant he wanted to be traded.
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