It sounds like Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is going to be traded soon, and it appears it’s coming down to a battle between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.
Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports the Saints are viewed as the current favorite as they put on a full-court press:
Saints are working hard to convince Deshaun Watson to waive his no-trade clause for them, per league sources. Decision is expected to ultimately come down to Saints vs. Falcons. Saints have been characterized as a leader for Watson. Maintained dialogue since first meeting
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 17, 2022
The Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers are the other two strongest suitors, with Baker Mayfield getting swept up in all this drama. The Seattle Seahawks made a play after trading Russell Wilson, but the Texans star wasn’t interested.
New Orleans just restructured a number of contracts to get to around $30 million in cap space as the pursuit of Watson ramps up. The Saints also reportedly just had another meeting with the quarterback, with owner Gayle Benson in attendance:
Gayle Benson was among those who met with Deshaun Watson, per source
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) March 17, 2022
It’s easy to see why New Orleans is considered the favorite for Watson’s services, but Atlanta is making its own strong pursuit and won’t go down without a fight, with Matt Ryan’s situation hanging in the balance. This all will only make this NFC South rivalry more fierce.
Of course, there are still plenty of question marks surrounding Watson’s status. While he was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in his sexual assault scandal, he still faces 22 civil suits and could still be suspended by the NFL depending on how all that plays out. This doesn’t seem to be stopping suitors from putting massive offers on the table for the embattled Texans star, but it’s still an important fact to consider during all of this.