Deshaun Watson is not happy in Houston. Like with all disgruntled stars, the QB's discontent has led to rampant speculation that he could force a trade from the Texans.
The reports that Watson wants out have led other clubs to enquire about said availability.
To get the facts out of the way first before we delve into theory crafting: No one in Houston, including owner Cal McNair, has suggested they'd trade Watson; and the QB hasn't officially requested a trade.
Those two facts won't do anything to slow speculation.
If Watson chooses to force the issue in the coming months, there should be no shortage of suitors. Outside a handful of teams -- Kansas City, Green Bay, Buffalo, Seattle, L.A. Chargers, etc. – every club should consider the possibility of acquiring Watson. With a no-trade clause in his contract, the QB could dictate his destination if he chooses. Still, at the very least, most teams should do their due diligence and at least make a call to new GM Nick Caserio. Make the Texans say no.
Some teams are obvious landing spots.
The Miami Dolphins have a plethora of draft picks to offer Houston, including the Texans' own No. 3 overall selection. Watson would be a clear upgrade over Tua Tagovailoa at this stage.
The New York Jets could be another logical trade partner, given they own the No. 2 overall pick, which would allow Houston to select a rookie QB to start over with or add Sam Darnold to the package.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport added another potential candidate to the rumor mill: the Carolina Panthers.
"I would not discount the Carolina Panthers in this situation," Rapoport said Monday on NFL Network's Good Morning Football. "They have the eighth pick, so obviously not as high as, say, the Jets or Dolphins, but that is also a team that needs very badly to solve its quarterback issues. And (has) an owner who is not afraid to make big bold moves."
With Teddy Bridgewater under contract for another year, the Panthers have already begun the search for a long-term solution at QB. Matt Rhule has stuck by Bridgewater, but landing Watson would be a game-changer for a club like Carolina. Panthers owner David Tepper isn't one likely to shy away from the high price-tag Watson would cost.
At the moment, we're living in Speculation Township.
Watson is unhappy he wasn't involved in Houston's management decisions. He's not the first player to experience such dismissal. Whether he holds the club's feet to the fire by withholding his services -- and all that comes along with such a holdout -- remains to be seen. And whether the Texans would decide to move on from their franchise QB also remains a huge question.
Until we know one way or another, rumors will continue to swirl. Every team with QB questions should be calling Houston. Game-changing quarterbacks in their prime like Watson never become available.