The Washington Commanders made big headlines when I was in line at McDonald’s to get a last minute meal for the family late last Friday night. They had reportedly offered multiple 1st round picks to the Seattle Seahawks to acquire QB Russell Wilson via trade. This offer was rejected. Wilson hasn’t requested a trade and his no trade clause limits the Seahawks, but the full details of Washington’s offer haven’t been revealed. They are determined to upgrade over last year’s starter Taylor Heinicke, and have reportedly called every team that possibly has a QB available.
The report that Washington called every other NFL team about their QBs led to fantasy phone calls between the Commanders and Chiefs about Patrick Mahomes, a situation that I’m 99% sure didn’t happen. Some other QBs that they are interested in, and have possibly inquired about are Derek Carr and Deshaun Watson. John Keim talked about their continued interest in these two QBs, but cautioned that this interest is likely just that at this point. There have been no reported offers for either player, and anything more than interest at this point is speculation.
The continued interest in Deshaun Watson has been reported by at least 3 different sources over the last few days so it is obviously going to become a story. In the first two stories I read the Commanders interest has seemed like a throw in based on their interest in every QB this offseason. ESPN ran a story about multiple issues coming up as free agency approaches and Jeremy Fowler mentioned the Commanders looking everywhere for a QB. This felt like more of the informal interest he mentioned, a general range of QBs.
Washington general manager Martin Mayhew said his club has talked to any team that might have an available quarterback. I asked a team source about this and was told that’s fair to take at face value — the Commanders are looking everywhere, from Russell Wilson to Deshaun Watson. Whether these discussions are formal or informal is unclear, but they are working hard on it. — Fowler
Aaron Wilson, who was formerly with the Houston Chronicle until he was fired for comments about Deshaun Watson’s accusers, also reported about Washington’s interest in the Texans QB. This report barely mentioned the Commanders, but went into detail on the interest from the Eagles and the Dolphins last year. This is another reference to Washington’s interest that seems to be a throw in due to their broad interest, and doesn’t give any indication of specific interest beyond the informal variety mentioned in the ESPN article.
The Washington Commanders and Carolina Panthers remain interested in Watson, per league sources. Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman previously conducted significant due diligence on Watson before last season, even sending an investigator to Houston to look into the legal situation and contacting Rusty Hardin, Watson’s attorney, per sources.
John Keim released his latest podcast and talked about Washington’s interest in Deshaun Watson. He says its still there, but nothing has gone past the consideration stage. The legal problems are going to hold back any team from making a deal at this point. Other teams like the Eagles have been digging into this, but we haven’t heard anything close to that level from Washington. Keim didn’t make the interest in Watson sound anymore than other QBs that could possibly be available. He’s just a more costly, and more risky option that seems to be hovering on their possibilities list until he’s not.
Ron Rivera was asked directly about Deshaun Watson and his legal situation at the NFL Combine. He was asked if it was enough to have clarity on that situation, or do you need actual resolution of the pending cases.
“Well, I think in certain situations, certain circumstances, clarity and some sort of resolution is probably best for all these things because again we don’t know who’s available and we don’t know what the circumstances are. So as we go forward having answers, most certainly makes things a lot easier.”
Rivera was also asked if he would like to have any trades wrapped up before free agency starts on March 16th. He quickly said yes, but the follow up question stretched that deadline up until the start of the NFL draft on April 28th if needed.
“Well if need be, yes, most certainly, because again there’s only so many potential trades, there’s only so many potential free agents, and if it’s not by then, you are going into the draft and that’s where your next quarterbacks going to come from, potentially.”
From the @CBSSportsHQ Desk: The FULL interview with Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera. Listen carefully and you'll hear the plan at QB. Here's a hint: one decision will not preclude another. Plus, how much clarity does Rivera need in Deshaun Watson's legal case. pic.twitter.com/NesVfVoSaK— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 2, 2022
The Harris County District Attorney will make a decision by April 1st on Watson’s potential criminal charges. His civil cases are still ongoing. He reportedly had settlements arranged with 18 of his 22 accusers by the trade deadline last year, but Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross nixed the deal. The NFL could also issue a lengthy suspension to Watson even if he is not charged.
This all adds up to an extremely unlikely scenario that would see Watson not face criminal charges, while also settling all the civil suits being brought against him by the time free agency starts. The draft is a slight possibility, but the question of potential suspensions from the league would also have to be cleared up before most teams would make an expensive move like this.
Deshaun Watson to Washington has always seemed like a longshot. The reports of their continued interest still seem like a monitoring situation without much actual effort being put into it. Washington will be linked to every potentially available QB this offseason, but Watson doesn’t sound any closer to being on this team now, than he did at this time last year.
Should Washington trade for Deshaun Watson?
This poll is closed
Yes, right now
Only after he’s cleared from legal, civil, NFL penalties