Falcons To Meet With Deshaun Watson

7:18pm: Watson will meet with the Falcons on Wednesday, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. The 26-year-old quarterback is a Georgia native, heading to Clemson from Gainesville, Ga., and once worked as a Falcons ball boy. Watson and the Browns finished their meeting Tuesday.

We might be moving close to a trade resolution here, though that is obviously only part of this saga. The Texans appear to have approved trade compensation from the Browns, Panthers and Saints, Dianna Russini of ESPN.com tweets. The Watson meetings were contingent upon it. This would point to the Falcons having made a satisfactory offer as well. Watson reached out to the Falcons about a meeting, Russini adds (on Twitter).

10:55am: The Falcons have emerged as a sleeper team to trade for Deshaun Watson, according to league sources who spoke with Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link). With that, they join the Panthers, Saints, and Browns on the known list of clubs in pursuit of the Texans quarterback. 

Watson is set to meet with the Browns today. As of this writing, the Saints and Panthers are the only clubs reported to have made an offer. Still, the Browns have done plenty of research on Watson – both before trading that fateful draft pick to the Texans and after.

Matt Ryan completed 67% of his passes for 3,968 yards and 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last year. Those numbers are more or less in line with his career averages, though the Falcons are now years removed from their last Super Bowl appearance.

The Falcons could see Watson as the solution, though Ryan just agreed to restructure his contract last week. It’s also possible that the Falcons are simply doing their due diligence and/or looking to raise the asking price for their NFC South rivals. The Panthers and Saints are both keenly interested in the embattled QB — even if the Falcons don’t trade for him, they could help to chip away at their draft capital.

Thanks to Ryan’s restructuring, the Falcons opened up an additional $12MM on their 2022 books. On the heels of that move, they hammered out a brand new $50MM+ extension with veteran lineman Jake Matthews.

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