On Friday afternoon, a grand jury declined to indict Deshaun Watson on allegations of sexual misconduct. With an NFL press release disguised as a tweet from Adam Schefter following immediately after, it appears the league is trying to quickly put this in the past and get Watson back on the field instead of suspending him. As a result, the Deshaun Watson trade market is going to be hot.
We have already seen both Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz get traded over the past week. Of course, these moves came after Aaron Rodgers announced he is returning to the Packers. Now, with less than a week before the official start of NFL Free Agency, there are still a number of teams in need of a quarterback. Interestingly enough, a couple of these teams appear to be a quarterback away from being legitimate competitors.
With many suitors around the league, the price will be high. These are the most likely Deshaun Watson trade destinations. We exclude the Colts because while they would love to have him, it seems unlikely he will be traded within the division.
Most Likely Deshaun Watson Trade Destinations
The Carolina Panthers have been vocal about wanting a Deshaun Watson trade for about a year. They would be bringing Watson back to the Carolinas, where he won a national championship at Clemson, so there is already a fan base. This is also a team loaded with talent, but they continue to miss at quarterback. With Tom Brady and Sean Payton both out of the division, now is the time to strike. The NFC South is up for grabs.
When the original Deshaun Watson trade request was made, he wanted to go to Miami to play for Brian Flores. We don’t know how close the relationship is between Flores and Watson is. If it’s really that strong, it’s possible Watson wants to play in Pittsburgh, where Flores is now an assistant coach. The Steelers are another team that is built to compete, for the most part, but needs a quarterback. Yes, trading Watson within the AFC isn’t the smartest idea, but the Texans also aren’t looking to win a Super Bowl within the next couple of seasons.
Despite releasing Bobby Wagner, trading away Russell Wilson and paying for half of his contract to not be there anymore, the Seattle Seahawks are adamant that they are not rebuilding. It’s possible this is because they had another quarterback trade in mind, sending Drew Lock and picks to Houston for Deshaun Watson. We know Pete Carroll isn’t afraid of a little PR hit by taking Watson, so maybe this was the plan all along.
Our last one is the Atlanta Falcons. Again, the NFC South is truly up for grabs. And for that reason, we could throw the New Orleans Saints into the ring as well, though they have a slightly tougher time making numbers work. As for the Falcons, they could trade away an aged former MVP that could help mentor Davis Mills. Deshaun Watson is also from Georgia, so it could be a homecoming for him. The Falcons need to make a quarterback decision eventually. Why not now?