AFC Notes: Deshaun Watson, Colts, Jaguars, Texans

     

Deshaun Watson

  • Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Panthers explored trade scenarios for Texans QB Deshaun Watson before agreeing to the deal with the Jets on Monday for Sam Darnold.
  • According to Wilson, Panthers owner David Tepper and other high-ranking team officials were actively doing due diligence on Watson. However, Wilson says Carolina ultimately decided to move in a different direction.
  • Sources tell Wilson that several teams including the Eagles and Dolphins are still monitoring Watson’s legal situation, which has obviously complicated a potential trade.
  • Aso for the Texans, Wilson reports that Houston hasn’t actively engaged in trade talks for Watson, but have been at least listening to teams.
  • Two of the 22 women who have filed lawsuits with Tony Buzbee against Watson came forward publicly in a press conference via NBC Channel 2 local news. Ashley Solis read a statement affirming she was sexually assaulted by Watson and Lauren Baxley provided a letter to Watson that was read at the press conference telling her story. 
  • Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, also released a statement via multiple outlets, including Fox 26’s Mark Berman.
  • The NFL released a statement as well: “The allegations are deeply disturbing and we take these issues very seriously. Immediately following news of the first allegations last month, and as has been reported, we initiated an investigation under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. We are continuing to closely monitor all developments in the matter.” (Ed Werder)

Colts

Colts 2020 fourth-round QB Jacob Eason would currently appear to have the inside track to the No. 2 quarterback job in Indianapolis, as he’s the only other passer on the roster. However, Eason is a complete unknown, as QB Scott Milanovich pointed out he didn’t even have a preseason as a rookie. For that reason, the Colts have been hesitant to commit outright to Eason as the backup. 

“It’s pretty incomplete,” Milanovich said via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “I’ve watched him at Washington, I watched his training camp stuff. I watched some of the scrimmages he played in, and he did some really nice things. He obviously has a big, big arm, can make all the throws. . . . Until you see a guy play, it’s really hard to make an evaluation.”

Jaguars

  • The NFLPA released its calculations for the performance-based pay benefit that was eliminated in 2020 but will still be paid by teams. Each team split $8.5 million between its players and payments are deferred to 2024. 
  • The top Jaguars player was CB Tre Herndon ($486,671).

Texans

  • The Athletic’s Aaron Reiss notes the Texans could still draft a quarterback, as they need more than just Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Finley at the position given it looks more and more likely that one way or another Watson won’t play Week 1. 
  • While the 2021 class looks like another really deep one for wide receivers, Reiss doesn’t think the Texans will prioritize the position in the draft despite losing WR Will Fuller.
  • Reiss found it curious that the Texans traded for RT Marcus Cannon given they already have a solid pair of bookends in Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard. Cannon’s $7 million salary is expensive for a backup swing tackle and while he played guard in college he hasn’t done it in the NFL. 
  • Reiss points out that new Texans DT Maliek Collins, DE Jordan Jenkins and DE Shaq Lawson are all 27 or 26, so they could be long-term pieces despite arriving with little fanfare. 
  • The Texans are also making a similar bet in the secondary, signing Terrance Mitchell and Desmond King to join Bradley Roby as the starting trio. 
  • The NFLPA released its calculations for the performance-based pay benefit that was eliminated in 2020 but will still be paid by teams. Each team split $8.5 million between its players and payments are deferred to 2024. 
  • The top Texans player was LB Tyrell Adams ($527,108).
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports mentions Texans WR Brandin Cooks as a potential sleeper candidate to be traded to a receiver-needy team.

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