The San Francisco 49ers have made little effort to cover their pursuit of a franchise quarterback. ... but which one?
Having traded up to the third overall pick (formerly possession of the Texans and then the Dolphins) they have frequently been linked with rookies Mac Jones and Trey Lance in recent weeks - sources from two top-10 teams tell TexansDaily.com as of Thursday morning they believe it's Lance - but according to one NFL insider, they are still keeping tabs on one particular veteran prior to the draft.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday that the 49ers are monitoring the situation surrounding Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The want-away signal-caller handed in a trade request earlier this year and would be an immediate upgrade for arguably any team in the NFL at the position.
However, given that the multiple sexual assault lawsuits lodged against him earlier this year are still unresolved his future in the league remains uncertain.
That being said, a report by Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reignited trade speculation this week after the lawsuits having gone recently gone quiet.
"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."
If this is the case, the 49ers seemingly continued interest in Watson would make sense and could make a trade viable prior to the draft if they are comfortable that settlements could be completed soon.
However, this does not mean that a lack of a trade for Watson tonight means that it still cannot happen. If the 49ers do, as expected, draft a quarterback on Thursday night then the rookie could, in theory, be included in a draft package for Watson either this summer or next.
Either way, even if the Texans do not end up picking in tonight's opening round of the draft, Houstonians will want to keep an eye on the 49ers. ... Just as the 49ers want to keep an eye on Watson.
CONTINUE READING: Final Texans Mock NFL Draft: A Trade, A Deshaun Replacement Found