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Deshaun Watson’s trade market and what NFL teams make the most sense for a deal

Written by Doug Rush

On Friday, a grand jury decided to not file criminal complaints against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, which means he’s free to play football again.

With the legal issues now cleared up, let’s look at what teams make the most sense for Watson.

Carolina Panthers

Carolina needs a quarterback. And they have a quarterback to give back to Houston in Sam Darnold. Here’s what a possible trade could look like.

New York Giants

They don’t have the salary cap space currently, but Watson would be a massive upgrade over Daniel Jones.

Back in January, Giants owner John Mara did say that the team wouldn’t pursue Watson because of the legal issues. But that’s all cleared up. Will Mara change his stance on Watson?

Pittsburgh Steelers

There have been conflicting reports about the Steelers interest in Watson, as they do need a quarterback to replace Ben Roethlisberger.

Mike Tomlin said he likes mobile quarterbacks. Watson is a very mobile QB. But, we’ll see.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks just traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, so Seattle needs a QB.

Drew Lock is there, but Watson is a clear upgrade over him.

Seattle now has some wiggle room to make a trade for Watson, which now includes draft picks from Denver.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady retired. The former Super Bowl Champions need a quarterback.

Tampa still has a loaded roster full of weapons and they placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin, so he’ll be around for another season.

Watson with Bruce Arians and company could be a decent fit.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles made the playoffs at 9-8, but Jalen Hurts struggled.

The Eagles also have three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Could they use a few of them to entice Houston to make a trade and include Hurts in the offer?

Watson would be a massive upgrade over Hurts, who while he did get the Eagles to the playoffs, had a lot of moments where he didn’t look the part.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints are moving on from Sean Payton as their head coach and did okay with Jameis Winston as their starter last year before he got hurt.

But imagine Watson with the Saints offense?

Jameis Winston was good. Deshaun Watson would be better.

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About the author

Doug Rush

Doug Rush is entering his 18th season as a writer. His career dates back to when he was with The Asbury Park Press covering high school football, The Harlem Globetrotters and The Lakewood Blueclaws.


In 2009, he joined Bleacher Report, covering the New York Yankees and New York Giants, amassing over 2 million reader views.


After 2013, he left B/R to join Sports Media 101 to cover the Yankees and Giants. While with Sports Media 101, Rush was named to the Pro Football Writers Association of America. He was there until July of 2016.

In January of 2018, Rush joined USA Today as part of the Giants Wire staff to cover the Giants. He is still currently with them, as he does weekly analysis for them during the season.


In September of 2021, Rush joined Pro Sports Extra, where he will be covering MLB, the NFL, NBA, WWE and AEW.


Doug is from Toms River, New Jersey where he has two children, Carson and Peyton.