According to McClain, Watson has told Texans GM Nick Caserio the other teams he wouldn’t approve.
McClain mentions that if the Panthers are serious about trading for Watson, it’s possible he would approve this deal, as it would allow him to be fairly close to his hometown of Gainesville, Ga.
Sources familiar with the situation have told McClain that compensation on a deal with the Dolphins has essentially been agreed to and the Texans would end up getting the three first-round picks they’ve been seeking in a deal for Watson. Although, McClain adds that Houston may have to accept lesser picks than the extra second-round picks they had been seeking.
The holdup with a Watson trade, according to McClain, is that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wants Waton’s legal situation resolved. Ross has reportedly approved the trade for Watson, depending on the outcome of his legal situation. McClain adds that Watson doesn’t want to settle the cases because it would be an admission of guilt.
Beyond that, Ross would need to find out what commissioner Roger Goodell will do in terms of a suspension under the personal conduct policy and how many games he would miss.
Regarding the Panthers, McClain writes that they were among the original eight teams interested in Watson, but they never made Houston an offer. Carolina later backed away from a potential deal as the civil cases against Watson began to mount.
Goodell addressed the situation on Tuesday, telling reporters that they still lack information and clarity regarding Watson’s legal situation to make a decision like placing him on the commissioner exempt list.
“We don’t have all the access to that information at this time at this point in time,” Goodell said, per Aaron Wilson. “Obviously, the police have been investigating also. We don’t have all the access to that information at this point in time. We pride ourselves on not interfering in that (legal process) and being as cooperative as we can to make sure we get all of the facts. I think that process is still ongoing.”
Watson, 26, 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 as the news is available.