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Ian Rapoport Identifies Three Potential Trade Destinations for Deshaun Watson

Editor’s note: This story contains accounts of alleged sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at

A grand jury is set to hear the case against Deshaun Watson on Friday. Multiple women who have filed among the 10 criminal complaints against the Texans quarterback have been subpoenaed. On the same day, Watson’s deposition begins for the 22 active civil lawsuits filed against him. His attorney Rusty Hardin says that Watson will be invoking the Fifth Amendment.

The end of the week will set the gears in motion with regards to Watson’s legal questions. The quarterback has been accused of sexual misconduct by the many women involved in the lawsuits, with these legal cases leading to Watson being sidelined by Houston in 2021. 

Despite the allegations, rumors about his football future have never slowed down.

In an update about the upcoming legal proceedings, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport shared some insight into where the market for Watson stands. He expects it to remain “robust,” and identified three teams expected to be in the mix for the 26-year-old: the Panthers, Buccaneers and Seahawks.

Carolina has long been tabbed as a potential Watson destination. Watson starred at nearby Clemson in college, after growing up in Georgia. In February, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported that the Panthers were one of the franchises that would be interested in a deal for Watson, even before the civil cases against him are resolved. Watson, however, wasn’t willing to waive his no-trade clause to go there, per the report.

Tampa Bay and Seattle are both interesting situations, as teams in transition after massive quarterback departures. Just a year removed from winning a Super Bowl, Tom Brady retired, leaving the Buccaneers with Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask as their on-roster options. Bruce Arians was asked about a potential trade for Watson earlier this month, saying it would require “strict organizational sign-off.”

On Tuesday, the Seahawks agreed to trade Russell Wilson to the Broncos, leaving the team with a hole at quarterback for the first time in a decade.

The civil lawsuits against Watson include allegations that range from him refusing to cover his genitals to forcing women to put his penis in their mouth. According to The New York Times, the criminal complaints reflect similar accusations, including ejaculating on them and sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. 

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