4:34pm: It may be an NFC South duel for Watson. The three-time Pro Bowler, as of Monday afternoon, is not willing to waive his no-trade clause for anyone but Carolina or New Orleans, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle said during an appearance on WFNZ (Twitter link). The Saints may have a slight lead in this race, with CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora noting Watson is “lukewarm at best” about the Panthers (Twitter link). While it has been reported Watson would waive his no-trade clause for the Panthers, this may not be his preferred outcome.
Watson has rejected the Seahawks, McClain adds (Twitter link). The Colts, as should be expected, are not in this mix. Though, they may or may not have tried. The Texans denied their AFC South rivals permission to speak with Watson, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Seahawks, reported as an interested party over the weekend, are not planning to meet with Watson, per ESPN’s Dianna Russini (on Twitter).
More teams are interested, but it certainly appears these two rivals are in the lead. Watson will meet with each team Monday night in Houston, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. Watson is also planning to meet with other teams Tuesday, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets. This saga could include a trade soon, despite Watson’s civil suits not yet being resolved.
10:17am: Deshaun Watson is expected to meet with the Panthers and Saints in the next couple of days (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). On top of that, Watson will also chat with other interested clubs between now and Wednesday.
The Texans have granted Watson permission to meet with other clubs, which may help to advance the trade talks. Watson holds a no-trade clause, so the Texans have to get his sign-off before completing any deal.
On that note, Watson has not turned down a potential trade to the Panthers (Twitter link via David Newton of ESPN.com). It was long reported that Watson only OK’d a trade to the Dolphins, but Newton hears that’s not the case — at least, when it comes to Carolina. With that in mind, it’s possible that Watson could go along with a trade to the Saints or one of the other interested teams.
The details are not yet known, but the Saints and Panthers have made offers for Watson recently. Meanwhile, the Texans’ asking price has not budged. Houston GM Nick Caserio still says that he wants three first-round picks plus more assets in exchange for the embattled QB. The Panthers, who own the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 draft, could make a compelling offer for the Texans. The Saints, who sit at No. 18, would have to offer more in their package to top their bid.