Around The NFL: Trade Deadline Looms, Watson, Texans Chairman in Trouble, Kroenke Beef, More

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Around The NFL: Trade Deadline Looms, Watson, Texans Chairman in Trouble, Kroenke Beef, More

Chicago Bears

At this time next week, the NFL’s Trade Deadline will have just passed us by. With the smoke fully cleared, I expect to have a better grasp of where the Bears (and the rest of the NFL) are heading. And while the NFL’s deadline often falls short of creating the type of action of its NBA, MLB, and NHL counterparts, things have been trending in a more active direction in recent years.

More please. It’s fun. Well, most of it.

Deshaun Watson

•   If it feels like we’ve been discussing the possibility of a Deshaun Watson trade all year, just know you aren’t alone. And that’s because we have been chatting about a potential Watson deal since January. This has been a topic of conversation since the calendar flipped to 2021. Perhaps the talks will subsequently end with a deal getting done.

•   Count the Panthers OUT on the Watson sweepstakes. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports Carolina isn’t in pursuit of the Texans quarterback at this time. Rapoport’s framing of the tweet and phrasing are worth highlighting here. Firstly, because he uses the clause “at this time” when saying the Panthers aren’t expected to make a run at Watson. It might seem small. But there is a difference in Carolina not pursuing Watson, and the team not pursuing him at this time. That leaves open the possibility of a later entanglement, should a deal not get done by the deadline.

•   Secondly, Rap notes Watson has, so far, waived his no-trade clause for only the Dolphins. This would put the Texans in a tough spot from a negotiation standpoint. It’s difficult to create leverage in a limited marketplace. Same for this, from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross:

•   As one might expect, the Commish weighed in on Watson’s situation:

•   Essentially, from Roger Goodell’s point of view, the league doesn’t have feel it has enough information from its ongoing investigation to put Watson on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. However, this feels like a fair time to point out that the league doesn’t need criminal charges to place a player on the exempt list. But that we’ve gotten to this point without Goodell wielding that power and using the exempt list makes me think they wouldn’t do it at this stage.

•   Something I’ll keep in mind until the deadline passes is Rapoport sharing the Texans’ internal expectation that they’ll trade Watson by the deadline.

Texans Chairman Cal McNair at Center of Controversy

•   Elsewhere in the Texans’ world, there is controversy stemming from team Chairman Cal McNair using racially insensitive anti-Asian slur at the team’s charity golf outing back in May. The reporting from Mike Silver, who left and NFL Network on Tuesday to then share this exclusive, is eye-opening:

•   McNair would later submit a statement to Silver, in which he showed some contrition for his comments:

“My comments at the event last May included an inappropriate choice of words. I immediately apologized to people who approached me then and I apologize again now. I know how important it is to choose my words carefully. I would never want to offend anyone.”

•   Considering Jon Gruden was recently removed from his post as Raiders head coach for racist, homophobic, and other awful commentary that surfaced from emails a decade ago, I’ll be curious to see how Commissioner Goodell handles this situation. Because just as Gruden’s decade-old emails were a bad look for the league, a team owner dropping offensive language at an event this year is just plain bad.

Odds and Ends

•   On Tuesday, NFL owners held in-person meetings for the first time since 2019. It’s been a long time coming for the league’s mightiest power-brokers. But as it turns out, things got a bit messy. Then again, that tends to happen when gobs of money are involved:

•   Nothing like a group of powerful owners going to battle with Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke (and by proxy, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones) with billions of dollars potentially on the line. All because Korenke doesn’t want to foot the bill on skipping town and leaving St. Louis holding an empty bag. You’ll want to read the piece embedded above by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham.

•   Not to be lost in the possibility of the Dolphins trading for Deshaun Watson, let’s remember Miami already has a QB. And he doesn’t sound too thrilled about a situation where trade talks regarding his replacement is the story on South Beach:

•   Those are the words of someone in a relationship that becomes strained with each passing day.

•   Hey, look — a trade:

•   Mark Ingram was a member of the Saints from 2011-18. The Alabama product made the Pro Bowl twice, put up air of 1,000-yard rushing years, and put up at least 1,100 scrimmage yards in four of his last five seasons. New Orleans was needing a rusher to help give Alvin Kamara a breather. And even though the Saints could use some healthy bodies at receiver, perhaps adding some backfield depth could aid in boosting the passing game.

•   Meanwhile, I’d venture to guess this tweet from Brandin Cooks hints that he is upset with his own situation with the Texans and would also appreciate a trade back to New Orleans:

•   How it started…

•   And how it ended:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.