Football

Deshaun Watson Not WFT Trade Option

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson looks up during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Considering Deshaun Watson’s present legal situation, he could not ever be a trade option for the Washington Football Team (WFT). From purely a football perspective, Deshaun Watson would be perfect for the WFT. Watson is a top 10 quarterback, in his prime, and under contract through the 2025 season. The WFT is a young, up-and-coming team with cap space and no player close to fitting that description on its roster (my apologies to all the new Taylor Heinicke fans).

The WFT Needs a QB

Washington decided to play now-retired Alex Smith, and win the terrible NFC East last year. By doing so, it lost an opportunity to draft a young franchise quarterback in the 2021 draft. Realizing it did not have its future quarterback on the roster, the WFT attempted to trade for Matt Stafford. After that attempt failed, the team signed 38-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year contract. 

Nothing against Fitzpatrick, but he is nothing more than a bridge quarterback at this point in his career. Unfortunately for the WFT, it doesn’t have a young future starter on the other side of the bridge. Thus, Fitzpatrick is essentially a bridge to nowhere. Fitzpatrick is not good enough to win a Super Bowl. However, he is likely too good for the WFT to be in position to draft a top quarterback next year.

Deshaun Watson – Not A Trade Option for WFT

As such, Watson would be a perfect solution. However, due to current circumstances involving both Watson and the WFT, there does not appear to be a reasonable scenario where Watson could be a trade option for the WFT. 

Watson has 22 active civil lawsuits pending against him. These suits allege sexual harassment and assault stemming from private massages involving Watson. There is also reportedly 10 women who have filed criminal complaints against Watson. The league has not suspended Watson or placed him on the commissioner’s exempt list as a result of the pending civil suits. However, his current playing status is certainly murky, at best, at this point in light of the allegations against him.

As for the WFT, the NFL recently completed an investigation into the team’s workplace culture and concluded that the team “both generally and specifically toward woman … operated in a highly unprofessional manner.” The unprofessional conduct found by the investigation included multiple allegations of sexual harassment.  The NFL fined WFT $10 million as a result. (“NFL fines Washington Football Team $10M following investigation into team culture.”) NFL.com, 1 July 2021, nfl.com/news/nfl-fines-washington-football-team-10m-following-investigation-into-team-culture)

Because of the recent league findings against the WFT, Watson is not a trade option for the WFT. Even if Watson avoids criminal prosecution, and the civil suits against him are resolved, acquiring Watson is not a realistic option for the team. The WFT is desperately attempting to change its culture and repair its image. The team can simply not afford to acquire Watson from a public relations perspective.

Reportedly, Watson has trade interest from teams despite his legal situation.  I can’t imagine The WFT is one of them.

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