The Denver Broncos have been front and center in trade speculation surrounding a pair of all-world quarterbacks this offseason. Before the ongoing Aaron Rodgers saga with the Green Bay Packers, it was Deshaun Watson being linked to the Mile High City after the 25-year-old requested a trade from the Houston Texans in late January, per ESPN.
Now, a recent media appearance by Broncos cornerback Kareem Jackson may be shifting the conversation back toward a reunion with his former Texans teammate of two years. On the latest episode of the “Catchin’ Fades with Aqib Talib” podcast on June 8, Jackson dropped a bombshell update when the retired All-Pro cornerback predicted, “I honestly think [Denver] going to have Deshaun soon.”
“Yeah, I got a great relationship with Deshaun,” Jackson responded. “I’ve been talking to him the last couple weeks and all he been telling me is, ‘Look, Jack just tell them that’s where I want to be.’ He’s like, ‘That’s where I want to be.’
“He was like, ‘Man, listen … I want to be in Denver.’ ”
Jackson, who re-signed with the Broncos on a one-year, $5 million deal in March after the team declined its $10 million option on the 12-year veteran, believes his decision to return may also play a role in Watson’s thinking.
During the time I was going through my little free agency thing and then I ended up signing back here [in Denver], before I signed he called and he was like, ‘Man, are you going to sign?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know I ain’t sure yet.’ He was like, “Well you let me know what you’re going to do or whatever.’ Then I signed back and he was like, ‘Listen man, tell them I want to be in Denver.'”
NFL Insiders Refute Denver Is Watson’s Preferred Choice
Shortly after a video from The Volume Sports quickly began gaining traction on social media, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport chimed in with some added perspective on the Watson situation. According to the insider, Denver is viewed as one of many potential landing spots for the three-time Pro Bowler, if eventually traded.
“#Texans QB Deshaun Watson has been getting recruited by former teammates and countless players across the NFL, and he remains open to several options, including the #Broncos. But I don’t believe Denver is “where he wants to be.” Just one possible spot,” Rapoport wrote on Twitter.
KOA Colorado’s Broncos insider Benjamin Allbright also downplayed the idea, tweeting that any pursuit of Watson by Denver “would be a non-starter” without, at minimum, the Texans making their frontman available for trade or his ongoing sexual assault civil cases — of which there are 22 — being adjudicated.
Texans GM Has Softened Stance Since January Fallout
Potential legal and league ramifications aside, Texans first-year general manager Nick Caserio told “The Albert Breer Show” on March 30 that the organization is now taking the Watson situation “one day at a time,” a sharp contrast from his, “We have zero interest in trading the player” comments during a January 29 introductory press conference for new head coach David Culley.
For now, Watson remains on the Texans roster playing out his $17.5 million fifth-year option in 2021 before the first year of his four-year, $156 million contract extension kicks in next season. Behind him on a widely depleted Texans depth chart are veterans Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Driskel, plus 2021 third-round pick Davis Mills.
In Denver, Vic Fangio and company will move forward into mandatory minicamp with third-year starter Drew Lock and former first-rounder Teddy Bridgewater, acquired from the Carolina Panthers on NFL draft weekend in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round selection.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Broncos Facebook communities for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Broncos Country!