According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, disgruntled Texans QB Deshaun Watson is interested in playing for either Jets or Dolphins. However, Salguero says Watson’s preference would be to join the Jets.
“Watson this week told people the Jets are his top preference among the teams he’d like to be traded to because they hired Robert Saleh to be their coach and Watson values Saleh so much he wanted the Texans to interview him for their vacant head coach job,” Salguero writes.
Prior reports have said that Watson wanted Houston to interview Saleh and Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy for their head-coaching job. However, Houston initially declined to meet with Bieniemy before changing their mind after hiring GM Nick Caserio.
The Texans never spoke with Saleh before he agreed to become the Jets’ next head coach.
As of now, Watson has not officially requested a trade out of Houston and the Texans have maintained that they expect him to be their starting quarterback moving forward.
Last week, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that there’s a “growing sense” from people in and around the Texans’ organization that Watson has played his last snap for Houston.
According to Schefter, there’s widespread speculation around the league that Houston could trade Watson this offseason or be faced with the real possibility that he could holdout or not report if he isn’t traded.
A source has told ESPN’s Sarah Barshop that the Texans have had internal conversations about possible trade partners and what their quarterback position would look like moving forward without Watson.
Chris Mortensen adds that a growing consensus within the NFL that Watson will force his way out of Houston. Per Mortensen, the Texans believe he will command a high compensation package in a trade.
Meanwhile, a source close to Watson has told Mortensen that the Dolphins “remain prominent as an acceptable landing spot” for Watson due to their culture under HC Brian Flores and the fact that there’s no state income tax in Florida.
There are other teams reportedly monitoring the situation involving Watson should the Texans make him available for trade.
Watson, 25, was taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft out of Clemson by the Texans. He signed a four-year, $13.854 million with the Texans that included a fifth-year option around $17.3 million for the 2021 season.
The Texans signed Watson to a four-year deal worth as much as $177 million heading into the 2020 season, paying him $39 million a year.
In 2020, Watson appeared in all 16 games for the Texans and completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 4,823 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 444 yards and three touchdowns.
We’ll have more on Watson and the Texans as the news is available.