- ESPN NFL Insider
- Joined ESPN in 2009
- Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books
The Houston Texans sought a package of six players and draft picks from teams interested in trading for star quarterback Deshaun Watson this past summer, league sources tell ESPN.
Whether the package consisted of one player and five draft picks or two players and four picks, the Texans were unwilling to budge from their trade price for Watson, who remains on their roster even though he will not be active for Sunday’s season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Texans do not plan to play Watson at all this season, but sources around the league believe Houston general manager Nick Caserio will not trade the three-time Pro Bowler for anything less than the six combined players and picks.
Sources tell ESPN that no team is willing to meet Caserio’s asking price without attaching conditions to the picks because of the ongoing investigations by the FBI, Houston Police Department and the NFL into Watson, who faces 22 active civil lawsuits with allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior.
Watson and his lawyers have denied the accusations, and no charges have been filed. Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin said last month that Watson also spoke to the FBI about allegations of extortion regarding one of the 23 lawsuits originally filed against him. As of last month, Watson had not yet spoken directly to the NFL, according to Hardin.
Watson requested a trade this past January because he was unhappy with the direction of the franchise and the process used to hire Caserio.
Sources also previously told ESPN that the Texans are prepared to keep Watson on their 53-man roster for the entire season, even though they will have to pay his $10.5 million salary.
Tyrod Taylor will start Sunday against Jacksonville, while rookie Davis Mills will serve as Houston’s backup.
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