Deshaun Watson could be traded by the Houston Texans to the New Orleans Saints.
Watson has met with the Saints and the Carolina Panthers already. He is meeting with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday and he plans to meet with his hometown Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday. New Orleans and Carolina need quarterback upgrades yesterday. As for Atlanta and Cleveland, neither Matt Ryan nor Baker Mayfield seem to be the long-term answers for them.
The NFL Network’s James Palmer provided some interesting insight into why the Saints appear to be all-in on Watson.
Palmer’s colleague Ian Rapoport added that the Saints and Panthers have offers for Watson, which would include three first-round picks and multiple players returning to Houston.
Though this is a very fluid situation, Rapoport views the Saints as being in the driver’s seat to land Watson in an offseason trade.
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With Rapoport’s reporting, it feels like the Falcons are little more than a dark horse to get him. This is all about him being interested in the Falcons and his connection to Arthur Blank more than anything. Atlanta may play in the opposite conference from Houston, but three first-round picks may be too much for general manager Terry Fontenot to stomach, as well as multiple players.
Cleveland is more in win-now mode than Atlanta. The Browns could give up multiple first-round picks, as well as players, but they play in the AFC. That means Cleveland’s offer has to be out of this world for Houston to willingly trade him in-conference. And that leaves us with the two biggest contenders to get Watson: Carolina and New Orleans. What team will be blinking first?
Since the Saints are not rebuilding like the Panthers are, they would be more willing to hand over precious draft capital than would Carolina. Not only that, but Palmer mentioned Watson and Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas have the same agent. With general manager Mickey Loomis and new head coach Dennis Allen flying to Houston to visit Watson, ownership is okay with this.
If the Saints end up with Watson, they will compete right away from a division crown with Tampa.