Dec 20, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) passes the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to overstate how quickly Deshaun Watson’s situation in Houston has plummeted.

Obviously a lot of that is thanks to non-football issues, with Watson being accused of sexual assault by multiple women, facing more than 20 civil lawsuits.

The Texans have sat Watson for the preseason while fairly transparently shopping him around the league. His market is obviously curious, as the sexual misconduct allegations are going to be followed closely by the league and could lead to a suspension this year and potentially into the following season as well. (Obviously if he’s found to have committed the crimes he’s accused of, in civil or criminal court, you could make a strong case that he shouldn’t be allowed to play again, but that’s a discussion for a later date.)

Today, Yahoo’s Charles Robinson laid out what Houston is looking for on Twitter, and it’s shockingly a lot even by the standards of “team pushing asking price into the media” standards. Not only did Robinson report the asking price, he noted that the Dolphins are the favorites to acquire Watson:

Five premium draft picks sounds about right for a quarterback of Watson’s caliber (at his age on his contract) but not when you factor in the looming probably suspensions, much less what the acts that led to any suspension say about him as a human being.

To that end, Robinson reported that suitors are seeking pick protections, likely triggered by any potential suspension and/or games played threshold:

It’s a really weird story to follow, and it’s hard to imagine an NFL team in 2021 spending the haul of draft assets it would require to bring in a player with sexual misconduct allegations hanging over him. That the Dolphins are considering it is also interesting, considering how much they’ve invested in Tua Tagovailoa.

If Tua would be going back to Houston as part of a potential deal maybe it would make sense, although then we’d be back to wondering when the Dolphins would have a quarterback if Watson is out for any length of time. And if Tua does stay, well, that’s pretty awkward for a young quarterback. It would seem likely Tua would be headed out, whether it’s to Houston as part of the trade or somewhere else to recoup some of the draft capital Miami would have to send to Houston for Watson.

So, how much stock should we put into this? Robinson is a rock solid reporter, and he’s clearly not just making something up here. But given the entire situation, it’s hard to believe any team is going to meet that listed price for Watson. It would be hard to believe that even without the pending legal proceedings. If some team actually does do it, well, that’s going to put a big target on whichever executive pulled the trigger.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.