Let the speculation ramp up.
The ongoing Deshaun Watson saga reached another level Thursday morning when the Houston Texans quarterback requested to be traded, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport and ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.
Watson, as has been widely reported, has been upset with the organization for a while but hasn't spoken publicly on the matter.
The 2017 first-round pick signed a four-year contract extension in September 2020 and his deal includes a no-trade clause, which means he can veto any trade. Since he's under contract, Watson's only recourse if the Texans don't want to trade him would be to sit out, though he would become subject to fines.
The Texans, on the other hand, logically would prefer getting some kind of return for Watson instead of having him withhold his services.
The Miami Dolphins often have been mentioned as a logical trading partner for Watson because they're a young team on the rise, they have a lot of draft capital and, of course, there's no state income tax in Florida.
Watson is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and a bona fide franchise quarterback who's only 25 years old, so the Texans aren't likely to be lacking for suitors if they wish to acquiesce to Watson's request.
Miami generally is regarded as the most likely destination for Watson should he be traded, along with the New York Jets.
The Jets were listed as the favorites at 15/4 by betonline.ag earlier this week, with the Dolphins right behind at 4/1.
In an ESPN.com story that appeared Wednesday, reporter Bill Barnwell suggested 17 teams were likely to call Houston about a Watson trade, though the most likely trade involved the Dolphins — but also the Chicago Bears.
It was a blockbuster, to say the least.
Barnwell's suggested trade would have the Dolphins send the third and 36th overall picks (the two remaining picks from the Laremy Tunsil trade) to Houston along with a fourth-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round selection and send quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to the Chicago Bears in exchange for Watson, guard Senio Kelemete and a 2022 third-round pick from Houston and a 2022 fourth-round pick and conditional 2023 pick from the Bears.
The Bears also would send Houston the 20th overall pick in the 2021 draft.
If the Dolphins were to make a pitch for Watson, a three-way deal would make sense given all the teams looking for quarterbacks and the Houston Chronicle report suggesting the Texans aren't enamored with Tagovailoa.
Rest assured, this won't be the last projected trade proposal we'll see when it comes to the Dolphins and Watson in light of the news Thursday.