The NFL’s trade deadline will come and go Tuesday afternoon with the most talented chip on the trading block — Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson — staying put.
The Texans held discussions with the Miami Dolphins for weeks about trading the troubled star, but ultimately will not reach an agreement before the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. Watson’s unsettled legal situation ultimately resulted in the QB not getting traded, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The QB will remain on Houston’s roster until the offseason.
Watson currently faces 22 pending civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct related to massage sessions in addition to 10 criminal complaints. Watson has not been charged with a crime, though concurrent investigations by both law enforcement and the NFL are ongoing.
Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract and agreed to waive it only for the Dolphins, per Rapoport. The Texans’ asking price, according to Rapoport, included three first-round draft selections.
Watson, whose streak of three consecutive Pro Bowl nods will be snapped this year, passed for an NFL-high 4,823 yards last season, with an TD-INT ratio of 33-7.
In Miami, Tuesday’s news figures to bring a sigh of relief to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. In just his second season as a 2020 No. 5 overall draft selection, his status as the team’s top quarterback was repeatedly affirmed by coach Brian Flores, yet undermined by trade talks with the Texans. Tagovailoa has been on the losing end of three consecutive starts since returning to the starting lineup from an injury to his ribs. Pass protection has been a big problem for the Dolphins this season, making it more difficult for the club to assess Tagovailoa’s long-term potential.
The Texans’ awkward relationship with Watson now continues, as one of the most gifted quarterbacks in the NFL has been designated inactive each week this season. Watson, for his part, wanted out of Houston even before he was beset by legal problems, requesting a trade last January.
The NFL trade window officially re-opens on March 16, 2022 — the first day of the new league year and the onset of the free-agency period — although trades can be agreed to and announced prior to that.
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