The Houston Texans are now reportedly willing to trade quarterback Deshaun Watson. But the price to land the 25-year-old remains quite high.
Multiple outlets reported Monday that the Texans are seeking at least three first-round picks for Watson, who demanded out from Houston earlier this year after the team hired general manager Nick Caserio.
It’s unclear whether any team would be willing to pay such a premium given that Watson is wrapped up in a sexual misconduct scandal in which 22 women have sued him, alleging inappropriate behavior while Watson received a massage.
Watson reported to the Texans’ training camp Sunday when it was required to show up, in part, to avoid the team being able to find him $50,000 per day for his absence. According to ESPN, Watson reiterated his trade demand.
The NFL has not suspended Watson for his conduct, but the league is running an investigation into the claims. There’s a possibility that Watson could be placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list — allowing Watson to be away from the Texans while the league investigates the claims — though the NFL has yet to take such an action.
According to ESPN, the Texans are seeking at least a combination of five high-end drafts picks and starting-caliber players. The NFL Network reported Houston wants at least three first-round picks.
Watson, the 12th overall pick in 2017, is an extremely gifted passer who led the league in passing yards last year. He has been named to the Pro Bowl three times in four seasons and signed a four-year, $160 million extension last September. The extension contains a no-trade clause, meaning Watson could choose to veto a trade if he does not approve of going to a particular team.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been linked to Watson as they contain multiple first-round picks next season, though ESPN reported the Texans have yet to receive a serious offer for the signal caller.
Houston added quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills in the offseason in the likelihood that Watson does not play for the franchise in 2021.