Rumor: Saints Planning Trade for Texans QB Deshaun Watson?


HOUSTON -- While Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio didn't delve into the specifics and back-and-forth details of complicated trade discussions with the Miami Dolphins regarding Deshaun Watson, we do know how close the two sides were to a deal.

We also know that the Pro Bowl quarterback's unresolved legal situation got in the way of the Dolphins' desires, as Miami owner Stephen Ross wanted Watson to settle his 22 civil lawsuits that allege sexual misconduct from the NFL players' sessions with massage therapists.

And we know all of that movement occurred without a real bidding war.

What if, next go-'round, the New Orleans Saints enter the bidding?

We are hearing NFL gossip on that offseason possibility, which for Houston could certainly assure that Caserio gets his asking price of three first-round picks plus - something it seems Miami was willing to do, if only there could be assurances that Watson would be free of legal entanglements and eligible to play.

There wasn't time for that to unfold in October. There is time going forward. And an unencumbered Watson? It's easy to see the Dolphins re-engaging. And the Carolina Panthers re-entering the conversation.

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And yes, the Saints, too, with Drew Brees in retirement and his replacement, the maybe-temporary Jameis Winston, now hurt, there is logic to Saints boss Sean Payton chasing a young Pro Bowl QB.

It is not known whether Watson would waive his no-trade clause for such a move (he is not inclined to do so for every bidder - Philadelphia, for instance). But while one has to sort of squint to see what the Dolphins might achieve with him, or what the Panthers might achieve, the Payton track record makes it obvious what Watson might achieve there.

Caserio, when speaking to the media on the subject post-deadline, didn't want to look into the future Wednesday as far as any potential discussions with the Dolphins or other teams during the offseason, including March 16 when the league year begins and Watson is next eligible to be traded.

But he did say, "Anything as it pertains to the offseason and the draft, there will be plenty of time to talk about that.''

More time involved. And maybe more teams involved.

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