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The 8 Deshaun Watson trade suitors the Texans before allegations

Texans, Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans had a number of interested suitors for star quarterback Deshaun Watson. But his future has become clouded due to recent sexual assault allegations.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported Monday eight different teams had shown interest in Watson before his legal issues began. These included the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears and Washington Football Team.

According to McClain, the Texans were actually expected to grant Watson’s trade request ahead of Thursday’s NFL draft:

The Texans’ plan was to get the most serious teams into a bidding war before general manager Nick Caserio — with Cal McNair’s approval — accepted the best offer that, ideally, would have included at least three first-round picks, two second-round picks and a defensive starter.

However, the landscape has shifted quite a bit.

Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct and sexual assault. The NFL has also launched an investigation that could result in discipline independent of the outcome of each lawsuit. Meanwhile, multiple of these purported suitors no longer figure to make a major play for the Texans quarterback.

The Jets are seemingly locked in to selecting Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick. San Francisco is almost certainly going to follow by choosing a new quarterback with the No. 3 selection. The Panthers acquired Sam Darnold, but could still make a play for a new signal-caller if one of the top prospects fall. Both the Broncos and Patriots might also be intent on adding a new quarterback through the draft.

It seems likely Watson will be on the Texans roster at the start of the year pending the results both of the lawsuits and NFL investigation.