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Bruce Arians on Possible Trade for Deshaun Watson: ‘Strictly Organizational Sign-Off’

As Tampa Bay moves forward following Tom Brady's recent NFL retirement, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has been left with the task of finding the next signal caller to lead the franchise.

When asked if the team would consider trading for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on Tuesday, Arians told reporters that decision would be made solely by the organization. 

“It would strictly be organizational sign-off,” Arians said. “I’ve known the kid for a long time. I’m shocked he’s in the situation. But it would be a strict organizational sign-off.”

The idea for Watson to potentially lead the franchise comes less than a week after ESPN's Chris Mortensen contemplated the idea in conjunction with Arians putting his support behind Buccaneers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

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However, Watson—who who didn’t play in an NFL game in 2021—has been accused of sexual misconduct by 22 women and is currently facing 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal lawsuits. But in the last week, several NFL teams have reportedly expressed willingness to trade for Watson, even if there is no resolution in his civil cases.

Last week, ESPN reported a court ruled that Watson could be deposed in nine of his civil cases. Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lawyer, asked the court to delay deposition.

The Buccaneers and the Vikings are two teams that Watson has reportedly been eyeing this offseason, though his agent has denied those rumors. If Tampa Bay does not trade for Watson or acquire another veteran quarterback, the Buccaneers may rely on Gabbert or Kyle Trask to lead the offense.

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