A grand jury in Harris County, Texas did not find enough evidence to support criminal charges against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on any of the alleged complaints. While there is still pending civil litigation, his criminal matters have subsided, and the expectation is that a trade market will now ramp up.
Watson has a no-trade clause that enables him to veto potential franchises he does not wish to play for, but as of now, the teams expected to be interested include the Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles.
Watson has a $35 million fully guaranteed salary for the 2022 season, and an acquiring team would take on a four-year, $136 million contract while the Texans take on a $16.2 million dead cap charge and clear $24.2 million in 2022 salary cap space. Watson's 2023 compensation — a $20 million salary and $17 million roster bonus — become fully guaranteed on March 20 of this year.
An internal NFL investigation into the allegations made against Watson is ongoing:
The NFL's own investigation into the Watson allegations remains open. League investigators have spoken with at least 10 of the women who accused Watson of sexual misconduct, but have not yet spoken with Watson.
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) March 11, 2022
Texans general manager Nick Caserio has remained steadfast that he will not trade away Watson for a discount. Following the Denver Broncos trading for quarterback Russell Wilson, expect the Texans to ask for three first-round picks, more draft capital and several starting-caliber players as well.