The Houston Texans have been prominently featured in NFL trade rumors throughout the offseason. Deshaun Watson still remains on the roster but that could soon change.
According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, there is a scenario where Watson is traded 'before, during, or immediately after' the 2021 NFL Draft. An outcome of this nature would be dependent on Watson reaching a 'global settlement' in the civil lawsuits filed against him.
Florio writes: "The door swings open to a trade if Watson and his 22 accusers reach a global settlement of the civil lawsuits that have been filed against him. That will require plenty of work by the lawyers. The fact that the lawyers have been so quiet since last Friday’s status conference invites speculation that the lawyers are focusing their time and attention on a push to resolve the cases at a time when the claims have maximum settlement value for the plaintiffs."
We are a bit dubious regarding how this is all going to happen in a matter of hours, but ...
READ MORE: Which Teams Are Still In On Watson Trade Idea?
The market for a potential trade involving Watson has taken a significant hit. In January, before the off-field allegations began, the Texans had a quarter of the NFL involved in a 'bidding war' for their franchise-quarterback, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Between the Dolphins, Jets, Panthers, Broncos, 49ers, Patriots, Bears and Washington, there was a real possibility the Texans were going to command a potentially historic trade package for Watson.
Our Mike Fisher has reported that the Eagles were, and maybe still are, interested.
As Florio also pointed out, there is still the possibility that Watson's off-field controversy could extend into the 2021 NFL season. The league could place him on the Commissioner Exempt List and he would receive a salary in excess of $10 million.
"Even if he’s looking at placement on paid leave while the cases proceed, Watson can simply report for training camp with the Texans, accept an assignment to the Commissioner Exempt list, receive a salary of more than $10 million in 2021, use part of that money to finance aggressive efforts to expose any and all weaknesses regarding the allegations made against him, and make a push to settle the cases after the 2021 season, so that he can be traded next year."
The Houston Texans will surely be headed for a rebuild regardless of how long it takes for the situation with Deshaun Watson to play out. Without a first- or second-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, they will however be able to focus on facilitating a potential trade if Watson were to reach a 'global settlement' in his civil cases - but again, that clock is ticking rapidly.