The Deshaun Watson trade rumors are one of the biggest storylines in the NFL, as the quarterback is currently staring down over a dozen sexual misconduct lawsuits. Prior to the suits, Watson was the prized jewel on the trade market, but now some teams are backing away. The New England Patriots are reportedly no longer interested in making a trade for Watson, but some teams are still willing to roll the dice on the young talent.
NFL Rumors: New England Patriots Won’t Trade For Deshaun Watson, Six Others Would
After a disappointing 7-9 season, the New England Patriots aggressively attacked the free-agent market. While the roster desperately needed an influx of talent, some believed that New England’s spending was partially influenced by a desire to make New England a more appealing landing spot for Deshaun Watson.
Watson’s contract features a no-trade clause, meaning that he could revoke any potential trade if he didn’t like the landing spot. The quarterback reportedly had no interest in New England earlier in the offseason, but it’s hard to think that all the quality free agent additions wouldn’t have changed his mind.
The Patriots still need a quarterback, but it will not be Deshaun Watson. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, New England has given up on their pursuit of the quarterback, at least for the time being. Howe added that, depending on what happens with the civil suits, New England could try to get back in on Watson. However, for now, the team wants no part of the troubled quarterback.
The entire situation with Deshaun Watson has changed with the civil suits. If there are teams that are still actively pursuing him, as has been reported, I can confidently say the Patriots were not one of them as of late last week. We'll see if that changes, pending civil cases. https://t.co/BfjMWZhtfD
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 22, 2021
Six Other Teams Interested
New England might be out on Watson, but six other teams are reportedly still interested in acquiring the quarterback. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, “multiple teams” are still interested in Watson, with the Eagles, Panthers, Jets, Dolphins, 49ers, and Broncos showing the most interest.
Of those teams, the Miami Dolphins are definitely the most interesting. Watson said that he’d approve a trade to Miami earlier in the offseason, and the Dolphins have a bounty of first-round picks from previous trades. However, the team has publicly stood by second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as the future of their franchise. Perhaps the price for Watson was too high before, and now Miami is hoping to buy low.
The rest of the teams all make sense, as each has a need at quarterback. Jalen Hurts played well in limited snaps for the Philadelphia Eagles, but he’s anything but a sure bet to be a franchise quarterback. Teddy Bridgewater, meanwhile, underwhelmed during his first season in Carolina. The New York Jets would definitely need to part ways with the second-overall pick (and then some) in order to acquire Watson. The 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo, which could be an enticing offer for Nick Caserio. The Broncos seem content to roll with Drew Lock for at least one more season, but wouldn’t be opposed to an upgrade.
There is a very real chance that Watson faces a significant suspension for these accusations, and it’s not impossible to imagine him being permanently banned from the league if all the accusations prove true. However, talent wins out in the NFL, and these teams are willing to make that risk with an premier player at the game’s most important position.