HOUSTON -- Sometimes saying little says more than any number of words. That's one way to look at the Deshaun Watson situation as Houston Texans head coach David Culley avoided questions during rookie camp of the QB's status.
"We have nothing to say about that situation at this time," Culley said Saturday. "[Texans chairman Cal McNair] and ownership a few weeks back indicated about how our organization feels about the situation. I think when [general manager Nick Caserio] was on not long ago, he also mentioned that the legal process was in effect right now and we're going to respect that and go from there."
Everything with Watson remains at a stalemate entering Phase Two of NFL offseason programs. Currently, there are still 22 civil lawsuits out against him for sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Those will be handled by the court system in Harris County.
The NFL still could rule him ineligible and suspend him if they believe Watson broke any of the personal conduct policy as well.
Watson is now expected to be traded once his name is clear in the investigation. The investment of third-round pick Davis Mills isn't a dealbreaker for the 25-year-old quarterback, but the writing seems to be on the wall of his time ending in NRG Stadium.
The question turns to now who would trade for Watson and what would the asking price be. Back in March — before the allegations and the NFL Draft — it seemed he was the "break the bank" player for near every QB-needy team.
Now, both the market and asking price could have dried up for Houston to walk away a winner.
The Chicago Bears were hopeful to make up for passing on Watson in 2017 with the No. 2 pick — as were the San Francisco 49ers at pick No. 3. The New York Jets had the draft capital to select him and the New England Patriots seemed ready to move off Cam Newton.
One more later, all four have their hopeful franchise guy. The 49ers traded up to select Trey Lance at No. 3. The Bears traded up to No. 11 to grab Ohio State's Justin Fields. New York remained put at took Zach Wilson at No .2 while New England added the Alabama sensation Mac Jones at No. 15.
Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper wanted to make a splash in free agency. Although he's struggled through three seasons, the additions made around Sam Darnold are the best he's had since coming out of USC in 2018.
Could that be enough to show the upside and success in the Queen City?
The Denver Broncos seemed ideal after players stated how they'd love to play with Watson. It's too soon to say that Denver is out of the QB-trade market, but they're likely investing all the chips into in the Aaron Rodgers' basket.
So, who's left to trade for Watson?
The Miami Dolphins have built a roster around second-year standout Tua Tagovailoa to be successful. Both sides of the ball have upgraded immensely with the additions of Will Fuller, Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips.
Miami finished a game away from the postseason last season. Can Tagovailoa show he's improved as a passer? If not, Miami has two first-round picks they could offer for Watson.
The Philadelphia Eagles enter the 2022 offseason with the most draft capital. Much like Miami, they too have a pair of first-round picks that could be on the market for a high-end quarterback. Carson Wentz is out of the picture and the Jalen Hurts era is set to begin.
Hurts, who was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, started the final four games to close out the season. He went 1-3 as a starter behind a limp offensive line and limited weapons to help him as a passer. Still, the Channelview native threw for 1,061 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions.
Howie Roseman might have done enough this offseason by pairing Hurts up with his former Alabama teammate DeVonta Smith. The hope is new head coach Nick Sirianni can elevate the production of second-year target Jalen Reagor as well.
Other teams like Washington and the New York Giants might consider a trade following the season. The Giants have a capable offense and are hopeful that Daniel Jones can work with the new weapons at hand.
Washington has a top-five defense, but is Ryan Fitzpatrick the answer?
The Texans might not have many suitors until Watson is cleared, but a trade of his talent seems imminent following the cases being dismissed.
Watson might not be worth the King's fortune he was back in February, but somewhere down deep inside this mess? He will still have immense value on the market. If cleared sooner, this should be enough for Caserio to speed up the rebuild and provide stability for a franchise walking on stilts.
CONTINUE READING: Houston Texans: Would A Deshaun Watson Settlement With Accusers Be Best?