The Deshaun Watson trade rumors will either mercifully end when the NFL trade deadline passes at 4 PM ET Tuesday or will simply be pushed back a few months before it starts up again. We’re just hours away from the trade deadline, and if Watson is not moved by then, he must remain on the Houston Texans’ roster until at least March 16. Watson chatter remains the No. 1 storyline as we begin the final day NFL players can be traded this league year.
NFL Trade Rumors | Will Deshaun Watson be moved?
Like many other media outlets, we hear that the odds are against the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans executing a trade for Watson by 4 PM Tuesday. It’s not a matter of the Dolphins not wanting to acquire Watson. They do. But there are simply too many unresolved issues — most notably, the 22 lawsuits that allege sexual misconduct by Watson and a still-open criminal investigation.
Based on our conversations with people familiar with the thinking of Dolphins’ decision-makers, the organization has, in recent days, come to see a move for Watson as unlikely but not impossible at this time.
But Stephen Ross remains very much intrigued by the Pro Bowl quarterback. So expect the Dolphins to re-engage with the Texans after the season if a deal is not struck. There should be more clarity surrounding his situation in the coming months. Since Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract, he can essentially force the Texans to trade him to Miami, which has long been his preferred destination.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has repeatedly declined to rule out a trade for Watson over recent weeks.
Update on the Deshaun Watson trade rumors
As expected, the Dolphins will not trade for Watson, ESPN first reported. The organization did its due diligence on Watson, but none of the team’s contingencies for making the deal had been met (i.e., his significant legal issues remained unresolved).
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was given permission to speak with Watson Monday night, NFL Network reported, but that did not significantly change the Dolphins’ position on the matter. Pro Football Network has since confirmed all of the above. Expect the Dolphins to revisit in the offseason. Meanwhile, Watson will earn a total of $10.5 million this year despite not playing a single down for the Texans.
Are the Green Bay Packers buyers?
The Green Bay Packers’ make-Aaron Rodgers-happy-at-all-costs approach is in full effect. Rodgers, who has complained about the Packers’ past timidity when it comes to player acquisition, had to have loved to hear what his coach, Matt LaFleur, told reporters Monday.
“If the right opportunity presents itself, I think that’s something that we could be involved with,” LaFleur said. “I know [Brian Gutekunst] and his staff are working extremely hard at trying to find something. It’s just whether or not the right opportunity exists.”
Green Bay could use more help at receiver. Their passing attack was significantly diminished without Davante Adams in Week 8. There should be plenty of options available to the Packers, including DeSean Jackson, Andy Isabella, and perhaps DeVante Parker.
Other names to watch at the NFL trade deadline
A significantly depressed salary cap in 2021 has made the trade market tighter than usual. Nonetheless, there are still some big-time names that could be on the move Tuesday.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos
The Broncos essentially waved the white flag on the season Monday when they traded eight-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams.
Why not flip Melvin Gordon for an asset, too? He’s a free agent at the end of the season, and the Broncos drafted his replacement in Javonte Williams back in April.
The Tennessee Titans, who will be without Derrick Henry for at least a couple of months with a foot injury, make the most sense.
Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
The last-place Giants aren’t going anywhere after a sixth loss Monday night. While Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge probably would like to keep as many good players as possible to help save their jobs, the smart organizational play would be to trade Evan Engram.
Monday night was a final chance to showcase Engram, who had his first touchdown catch of the season. Engram will be a free agent at year’s end.
Melvin Ingram, EDGE, Pittsburgh Steelers
This failed experiment could end soon. Melvin Ingram joined the Steelers on a one-year deal in July. However, he’s been frustrated by injuries and a smaller-than-expected role. NFL Network reported Monday that the Steelers are trying to move Ingram. He has 1 sack and 10 tackles in 2021.
UPDATED: The Steelers have traded Ingram to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2022 sixth-round pick, the team announced Tuesday morning. Kansas City will be on the hook for roughly $600,000 in salary.
Andrew Norwell, G, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars reportedly considered moving Andrew Norwell before the season. Now that they’re 1-6, there’s no reason they shouldn’t consider it again. The issue is his salary. Norwell’s still owed over $6 million this year. Thus, a trade seems unlikely unless the Jaguars agree to eat much of it like the Broncos did with Miller.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
ESPN and CBS Sports both report Beckham is unlikely to be moved, even after the underperforming wide receiver’s dad posted a video to Instagram that blamed his son’s struggles on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The video included a bunch of Mayfield lowlights in which Beckham Jr. was open, but Mayfield didn’t get him the ball. Beckham has 17 catches for 232 yards in 2021 despite earning $14.5 million in base salary. His production and cost make him all but impossible to move.