Deshaun Watson trade rumors: New team enters the fray

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

A new team has entered the conversation to potentially trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson: The New Orleans Saints.

Count the New Orleans Saints in as a team with a ton of interest in trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported the Saints and the Carolina Panthers have both made offers to Houston for their former franchise quarterback. Keep in mind that Watson will have to waive his no-trade clause to be dealt. He also wants to meet with the teams potentially interested in trading for him before agreeing to waive it, which makes sense.

Watson grew up in Gainesville, Georgia and played his college ball at Clemson, so him returning to the southeast to play in the NFC South is very much a possibility here.

Deshaun Watson trade rumors: New Orleans Saints in mix for star quarterback

While the Saints are still in the red when it comes to the 2022 NFL salary cap, New Orleans has made a flurry of moves of late to at least get within striking distance of being in the black. New Orleans is roughly $6.6 million over the cap heading into the legal tampering period. While Carolina has over $29 million in available cap space, the Saints do have more tradable assets.

New Orleans would have in all likelihood been a playoff team last year had the Saints gotten better quarterback play. They were one game away from getting in with all sorts of chaos at the position. As far as the Panthers are concerned, they won five games in back-to-back years under head coach Matt Rhule. Owner David Tepper may force his hand and strike while the iron is hot.

Ultimately, whoever trades for Watson must take on the remaining four years of his contract. He would not hit NFL free agency until 2026 ahead of his age-31 season out of Clemson. Watson currently accounts for 18.88 percent of the Texans’ cap. He is slated to make $40.4 million this season. While he carries at staggering $51.2 million dead cap hit, the Texans want to move on.

Given how desperate the Saints are at quarterback, Watson may very well end up in New Orleans.

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