There were multiple teams interested in Watson at the trade deadline this past season but the lack of clarity on his legal situation ended up scuttling any deal.
Pelissero and Rapoport write that is expected to change in the coming weeks, as a decision on whether to refer the criminal investigation to a grand jury could be coming soon. Watson can also be deposed in February in the ongoing civil case and the NFL investigation will follow those two.
They also add Watson is in no hurry at this point with training camp still six months away. He has a no trade clause and was only willing to waive it for the Dolphins this past October, though that could change.
Texans GM Nick Caserio also plans to evaluate the entire organization, including HC David Culley. Although Culley has the respect of people in the building for his efforts on what was always going to be a bad team, Pelissero and Rapoport note it makes sense for Caserio to make a move now if he sees an upgrade available.
They add if he stays, Culley will need to address the multiple disciplinary issues that cropped up with players this year, as well as probably make staffing changes.
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.