For most of the NFL, tonight is Draft Weekend, Day 1, where the first round kicks off at 7 p.m. local time, ending sometime around midnight or so. For a handful of teams, the draft starts on Friday evening in Round 2. For one team, however, the draft starts later that evening on Friday, in Round 3. That one laggard of a team is none other than your Houston Texans.
Thanks to the 2019 Laremy Tunsil trade, the Texans will not have a first and second round choice in this draft, the second time in four years that this has happened. In the 2018 draw, the Texans had traded their second round pick to dump Brock Osweiler on Cleveland, and traded their first round pick, also to Cleveland, to come forward and take on Deshaun Watson.
A lot has happened since then, and Watson is rightly at the epicenter of most of them. None of the Watson-related actions are good for the Texans right now. The four-year quarterback is facing 22 civil lawsuits accused of various levels of sexual misconduct with massage therapists. The mystery and unknown surrounding Watson’s future have, presumably, made it impossible to trade him and begin rebuilding the large-capital Texans tonight.
According to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, that’s exactly what would happen if Watson didn’t get into this massive legal skirmish:
This is the week the Texans planned to trade quarterback Deshaun Watson for a trek reception that would have speeded up their rebuilding process.
With eight teams showing interest in Watson, the Texans were expected to fulfill his trade demand sometime before the first round of Thursday night’s three-day draw.
Unless a team is willing to trade in for Watson without knowing the outcome of the 22 civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual harassment and assault – as well as an NFL investigation that could lead to a suspension – he will still remain after draft. be a Texan.
If so, Watson’s trade value will diminish significantly as five interested teams are expected to use the first round of quarterbacks.
Before Watson was besieged with legal troubles, the Jets, Dolphins, Panthers, Broncos, 49ers, Patriots, Bears, and Washington had shown interest.
OK, the key parts we need to examine ahead of tonight’s draft – “unless a team is willing to trade for Watson without knowing the outcome of the 22 civil suits” and the list of eight teams interested in Watson before the lawsuits started to flood his figurative inbox. Everything has been quiet on the Watson legal front for almost a week, which, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, could be an indication that a settlement and subsequent transaction could be coming:
When a settle-than-trade scenario arises, the sooner it unfolds, the better it will be for everyone involved. The fact that the two attorneys at the center of the controversy, Tony Buzbee and Rusty Hardin, fell silent during design week makes it hard not to wonder if we’ll hear about the cases being resolved anytime soon, followed by the news that Watson is being resolved. traded to a new team.
So let’s make one last hit for the draft tonight – what are the odds that one of the eight teams McClain listed above will make a final second attempt to acquire Watson, probably at some measure of discount on what they should have? to do? forfeited to the Texans before the lawsuits began to fly. Here we go…
100 percent OUT on trading for Watson: NEW YORK JETS, SAN FRANCISCO 49ersThe New York Jets would have been the perfect trading partner for the Texans – a major city contender to whom Watson would likely have approved a deal, and a team that happened to have four first-round picks in the next two drafts. Unfortunately, the Jets seem focused on using BYU’s second overall pick Zach Wilson as their next signal caller. The Niners, on the other hand, are equally focused on a third-pick rookie quarterback (which is actually the Texans’ first round, dealt out in the Tunsil trade), but they haven’t tipped their hand. about who that is. They also actually had to trade in two future first round picks to advance to the third overall pick, so they run out of capital to make a reasonable Watson deal.
ALMOST 100 percent OUT on trading for Watson: MIAMI DOLPHINS, CAROLINA
The Dolphins were also an excellent trading partner for the Texans, with multiple first round harvests and sophomore QB Tua Tagovailoa as bait. They could still do that deal, and now actually have additional first-round picks to go back in the first round in the trade with the Niners, but they seem ready to move on with Tua. Likewise, the Panthers were all about trading for Watson before the trials took place, and they’ve moved on by trading three choices for Sam Darnold. They could still make a Watson deal, one where Darnold could become a Texan, but that seems highly unlikely.
Hail Mary for Watson POSSIBLE: DENVER BRONCOS, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, CHICAGO BEARS, WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAMSo we have four teams that could try to tackle some of the unknowns surrounding Watson’s future. (Will he be banned from the league? Will there be criminal charges? Will he go to civil suits?) They would also have a potential public relations nightmare if things go legally wrong for Watson. That said, in the NFL, if you don’t have a franchise quarterback you get desperate, and desperate times call for desperate measures.
Denver exchanged a sixth round for Teddy Bridgewater on Thursday, but that shouldn’t be enough to avoid a last-ditch call to Caserio about Watson. New England probably talks to Caserio on a daily basis, if only the two sides are super familiar with each other from Caserio’s two decades in New England. Washington and Chicago are two teams with rabid fan bases starved for great QB play. They’re picking 19th and 20th overall respectively, so the trading packs wouldn’t be ideal, but Caserio might be ready to take a less-than-ideal pack to just move on from Watson and all the drama.