Denver Broncos: Deshaun Watson trade still on the table?

Deshaun Watson, Denver Broncos possible trade target. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson, Denver Broncos possible trade target. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The expectation is for Deshaun Watson to be traded by the November 2 deadline. Will it be to the Denver Broncos? Is that option still on the table?

The annual NFL trade deadline is just over a week away. Although it’s common for a lot of rumors to float around in the days leading up to the deadline with little to no actual action, a possible league MVP candidate is expected to be moved by November 2. That possible league MVP candidate is Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, but given all that has transpired in the last eight months, are the Denver Broncos an option for him?

Most in Broncos Country had written that possibility off, but Ian Rapoport of NFL Network name-dropped the Denver Broncos in his latest Deshaun Watson report on Sunday.

Here is what he had to say:

Denver Broncos: Deshaun Watson trade still on the table?

Now, let’s not get it twisted — Rap Sheet is not saying here that the Denver Broncos are the front-runners for Deshaun Watson, or anything like that.

The Broncos would have been an obvious suitor for Watson prior to all of his legal issues coming up, but since all of the allegations of sexual misconduct have been brought against Watson, the most consistent report from the Broncos’ side of things has been that the team would only be interested in pursuing a trade if Watson’s legal situation were completely cleared up.

That was reiterated on Sunday as well by Broncos Country Tonight NFL insider Benjamin Allbright.

For the last few months, Allbright’s reporting has been consistent that Miami is the most likely destination for Watson and that they are also the team Watson prefers. There were reports earlier in the 2021 offseason that Denver was the spot Watson preferred (not necessarily from Allbright, but others), but Allbright is now saying that Watson wouldn’t even waive his no-trade clause to go to Denver.

How odd is that?

Maybe Watson doesn’t like the idea of playing in the AFC West, or maybe he just simply wants to treat his trade situation like he is a free agent and wants to go to Miami for a variety of other reasons. His old pal from the Texans, wide receiver Will Fuller, is currently in Miami but for how long?

The Denver Broncos would seem like an ideal destination for a young QB like Watson with an outstanding core of young skill players to get the ball to, but all of the football conversation is moot until Watson’s off-field issues are resolved.

It seems highly curious that a player in Watson’s situation would be overly picky about which teams were interested in pursuing him via trade.

Obviously, the allegations surrounding Watson are extremely serious and concerning. Many fans for a variety of fan bases have already voiced their opinion that they do not want their team trading for Watson at all. With that being said, there are clearly NFL teams that will put away their moral compass to acquire a superstar at the game’s most important position.

The Denver Broncos may not have interest in Watson until his legal situation is resolved, but by the time his situation is resolved (if that happens), it will be too late to trade for him.

This puts general manager George Paton in an extremely tough situation. Do you try to trade for Watson anyway, despite reports that he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause to come to Denver? Do you try to trade for him anyway, despite his legal issues not being resolved?

George Paton said when he was hired as GM that he would be in on every deal. Trading for Watson right now is going to come with plenty of huge questions and issues initially, and possibly down the line as well.

Is Rapoport naming the Denver Broncos from the vantage point of another team (Houston) to publicly create some type of bidding war for Watson when it’s really the Dolphins and maybe the Panthers?

Would the Broncos really just flat out pass on the chance to get Watson, even considering his off-field issues right now?

This is a brutal situation. For some, the decision to pass on trading for Watson might be easy. For others, it’s slightly concerning how little they seem to care about the allegations against him. Somewhere in the middle, there is the reality that Watson’s situation has not resulted in criminal charges, a league suspension, or even a stint on the Commissioner’s exempt list.

If his situation does clear up, Watson will play in the NFL again, maybe as soon as a couple of weeks from now.

The Denver Broncos have to be careful, certainly, whether they decide to pass on Watson or go for it.