The Deshaun Watson trade discussions have heated up considerably since a grand jury declined to indict the star quarterback on Friday, and a surprise suitor has reportedly entered the discussion.
The Atlanta Falcons have “emerged as a sleeper team” in the Watson trade talks, EPSN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen report.
That should not come as a huge surprise. Watson seems to want to play in the NFC South. He has a full no-trade clause, and a report on Monday claimed the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are the only two teams he has not rejected. That may have been before Atlanta got involved, however.
It’s possible that Watson, who is just 26, views the NFC South as a division he can dominate for years. Tom Brady is returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022, but he has already flirted with retirement and will probably only play one or two more seasons. The Panthers and Saints have no long-term solution in place at quarterback, hence their interest in Watson. Matt Ryan is still with the Falcons, but he will turn 37 this offseason and is also nearing the end of his career.
We heard of one other surprise team that had interest in Watson , but they are no longer a viable option. The Houston Texans star seems destined to end up with an NFC South team.