According to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson, the Bucs are expected to make a formal trade offer for Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson. However, Tampa Bay won’t be alone in their pursuit of Watson. Wilson reports the division rival Saints and Panthers are also expected to make offers. Some reports say New Orleans and Carolina already have official compensation on the table for Houston to consider.
In his report, Wilson writes the following:
The Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and others are all expected to make formal trade offers, according to sources.
On March 11th, Watson cleared a significant hurdle as he seeks to get back on an NFL field. A grand jury elected to not indict Watson of sexual misconduct criminal charges stemming from nine complaints. Watson is still facing civil lawsuits from 22 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct and sexual assault.
Additionally, the NFL is investigating Watson for violations of its’ personal conduct policy. The criminal charges represented the largest hurdle for Watson to return to action. Now that they have concluded, interest in the signal-caller is picking up around the league. It should be noted Watson can still be suspended by the NFL.
Can The Bucs Be Real Competitors For Watson?
Texans QB Deshaun Watson – Photo by: USA Today
As for the Bucs, many have questioned if they can handle Watson’s significant cap hit. But Pewter Report’s Josh Queipo wrote yesterday about how his cap hit won’t be a major hurdle for any team acquiring him. The biggest question with Watson will be how Tampa Bay feels about his off-field concerns. Those concerns could include a significant suspension from the league.
Another interesting aspect of a potential trade is Watson’s no trade clause. The veteran quarterback has a significant say in where he’ll land next thanks to that part of his current contract. He’s been effusive in his praise of Bucs head coach Bruce Arians in the past, which is noteworthy.
Of course, Watson will need to work with the Texans to some degree to get a trade done. The reality is that Tampa Bay likely can’t match the compensation some other teams are offering. The Panthers and Saints both pick higher in the draft order, as do other interested teams. Tampa Bay may have to offer a few more picks, or better compensation from their current roster.