Deshaun Watson is likely to be traded ahead of the Nov. 2 NFL deadline, and the Denver Broncos remain in the discussion for the star-crossed Houston Texans quarterback, a new report claims.
"Multiple teams are still interested in trading for Deshaun Watson," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. "Among the teams that have been discussed over the past several months: the Panthers, the Broncos, the Eagles, and some others."
Watson has been healthy-scratched for each game in 2021 after 22 separate allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced earlier this year — around the same time the Broncos were first floated as trade contenders for the three-time Pro Bowl passer. The NFL opted against placing Watson on the Commissioner's Exempt list while his legal situation unfolded and reportedly would not place him on the list if moved to a different locale.
"There are still teams interested in trading for him despite the fact that this is unsettled," Rapoport said of the nearly two-dozen accusations plaguing Watson.
The Dolphins, per multiple reports, have emerged as the favorite for Watson's services. According to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer, Miami is "very heavily engaged" in trade talks and Houston supposedly is telling potential suitors "you've got to beat Miami's offer," rumored to be a collection of first-round draft choices.
But the Carolina Panthers, following Sunday's benching of starting QB Sam Darnold, have also entered the sweepstakes with aplomb.
"League and team sources expect the Panthers to be involved in the Deshaun Watson trade talks," The Athletic's Joe Person reported.
Watson reportedly prefers Miami and would waive his no-trade clause in order to facilitate that deal, Rapoport said.
Signed through 2025, his age-30 campaign, Watson is collecting $10.540 million in base salary this season as part of his $156 million pact. He's counting $15.940 million against the salary cap — a number that balloons to $40.4 million in 2022.
The Broncos, who've demonstrated an unwavering commitment to incumbent QB Teddy Bridgewater, currently own $14.730 million of available cap room, third-most in the league behind Jacksonville ($28.830 million) and Philadelphia ($21.365 million), per OverTheCap.com.
“He's with the Texans. I can't comment on a player under contract with another team," Broncos CEO Joe Ellis said of Watson in July. "Vic and George have said we can win with the guys we have, and that's where we're going. That's what we're looking at tomorrow and from this point forward. That really isn’t a consideration on the table right now.”
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