Report: Deshaun Watson personally reached out to 1 team
Deshaun Watson has been strongly linked to two NFC South teams, and it was apparently his idea to get a third involved.
The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are viewed as the two teams that have the best chance of landing Watson. Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract, and a report on Monday claimed he has turned down inquiries from all teams except Carolina and New Orleans. The Atlanta Falcons then entered the mix on Tuesday, and they may have done so at Watson’s request.
According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Watson has interest in playing in Atlanta. The 26-year-old even reached out to the Falcons, which is noteworthy.
I’m told QB Deshaun Watson has interest in the Atlanta Falcons and has even reached out to the franchise personally, per source. https://t.co/wdQfgaXGjR
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 15, 2022
Watson grew up in Gainesville, Ga. He also worked as a ball boy for the Falcons. ESPN notes that team owner Arthur Blank and his family have a relationship with Watson and are fond of him. Those feelings appear to be mutual.
It sure seems like Watson is determined to play in the NFC South, which makes sense. None of the four teams in the division have a long-term plan in place at quarterback. Both Matt Ryan and Tom Brady will be retiring sooner rather than later. The Saints are still trying to find their way in the post-Drew Brees era, and Carolina’s trade for Sam Darnold last year was a total bust. Once Brady retires, there is no reason for Watson to think he can’t dominate the NFC South for years to come.
One team is said to have been the most aggressive in pursuing Watson, but ultimately it will be Watson who chooses where he plays. The Falcons are suddenly one to watch.
Photo: Jan 23, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson (4) during AFC practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports