The 2022 Deshaun Watson saga is picking up right where it left off at the start of 2021.
While Watson will have no charges filed against him for the criminal cases he was facing, the Houston Texans will still be looking to move on from him.
When 2021 started, Houston was looking for teams that would trade for Watson.
Most teams decided against doing this because of Watson’s legal woes.
Now that the legal issues are settled, we can discuss which team will trade for Watson.
So who are the three top contenders in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes?
3. The Miami Dolphins
Last year’s contender becomes this year’s contender as well.
Last year, the Dolphins looked to be at the front of the pack for Watson.
This was due to the Dolphins having the draft capital and players that Houston wanted for a Watson trade.
However, the Dolphins slip down this list due to the firing of Brain Flores.
Flores wanted Watson in Miami last season, and Watson wanted to play for Flores.
With Flores gone, Watson might invoke his rights to “no-trade,” which is in his contract with the Texans.
If Watson were to do this, it would take Miami out of the running for him, even though they have everything the Texans want in a trade for Watson.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
With the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers will need a new QB under center.
Watson would bring a dynamic to Pittsburgh that they could use going into the 2022 season.
Watson is a massive upgrade for Pittsburgh compared to their quarterbacks on the roster.
Pittsburgh has expressed interest in Watson, and they have the draft capital to make a deal with the Texans.
What puts Pittsburgh at number two is they are also looking to the NFL draft for a quarterback.
Watson would be the better choice, as he has NFL playoff experience.
That might be the key to a deal with Pittsburgh hungry to make the playoffs again.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are another team that had their quarterback retire at the end of the 2021 season.
After the Buccaneers lost to the Rams in the NFC divisional round, Tom Brady decided to retire.
Tampa Bay risks going back to their below-average season performance without a proven quarterback under center.
Watson can provide the Bucs with the experience that they desire at quarterback.
Vegas also sees the Bucs as the favorite to acquire Watson in a trade.
Where does Vegas think Deshaun Watson will play next season? Well, we'll tell you! #NFL #NFLtwitter #buccaneers #steelers #saints #vikings #texans #panthers #bettingtwitter #gamblingtwitter pic.twitter.com/fN7yQjHMW6
— UDDA (@UDDA_WINNER) March 13, 2022
Watson would have the stable coaching that he seeks, along with offensive tools at his disposal.
Brady proved that the Bucs are a strong team with the right quarterback under center.
Watson Has the Final Say
While many teams are looking to go after Watson, Watson will have the final say in the matter.
His “no-trade” clause can only be waved by him, putting the Texans at his mercy in trade talks.
Watson has voiced how he wants to go to a winning team with stable coaching.
BREAKING: Per source close to his camp, #Texans QB Deshaun Watson: “Does not want to be a dealt to the Carolina #Panthers as it stands right now. (Watson) wants a stable coach and leadership, and a competitive roster. Carolina isn’t providing that right now” #NFL
— CJ Golson (@CJGolson) March 12, 2022
The Bucs have this, giving them the edge if they seek to trade for Watson.
Bucs have the better team and better coaching than all these teams. I ultimately think Watson will want to come to Tampa and I think the Bucs will get it done https://t.co/de7Lqj0Zy8
— Austin (@BigBoyYoder) March 12, 2022