The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to take a “big swing” at a multiple-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, he expects the Buccaneers to make a run at Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Rapoport explained why during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday, March 8 — just prior to the Seattle Seahawks trading Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.
I would expect them to be looking around and taking a big swing elsewhere, like Deshaun Watson,” Rapoport said. “Russell Wilson said on The Today Show he wants to play on the West Coast. So it sounds like no Russ. I would think they would take a swing at Deshaun Watson if his legal situation clears up. So I would kind of keep an eye on that as well.”
Watson’s current situation is a murky one because of his legal issues. The 26-year-old quarterback is one of the best young players in the league. However, he’s currently embroiled in civil lawsuits from 22 different women in addition to 10 criminal complaints.
While Watson’s future in the NFL is unclear — a suspension could be on the horizon — he still remains in high demand on the trade market, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Focus.
Prior to the Commanders acquiring Carson Wentz via trade, Washington, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers were also interested suitors for Watson.
Arians: ‘Trades Are out of the Question’
The Buccaneers remain on the hunt for a quarterback. However, head coach Bruce Arians seemed to rule out Tampa Bay finding their next quarterback via trade during recent comments at the NFL Combine on Tuesday, March 1.
“Trades are out of the question I think,” said Arians. “You gotta have a partner. These guys aren’t just willingly coming ‘hey you want my guy?’ What’s behind door number 2 for them? I don’t see very many of these guys getting traded, there might be one max two of guys that we think could take us to the Super Bowl.”
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Texans’ Asking Price for Watson Remains High
Further complicating matters is the fact that the Texans have yet to budge on their asking price for their three-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Despite the fact Watson hasn’t played since the 2020 season and is currently dealing with legal trouble, the Texans still desire three first-round draft picks and five total assets, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
“The Texans have wanted at least five assets, including three first-round picks, in any trade for Watson, according to sources,” said Howe back in January. “They also have no plans to reduce those demands when trade discussions resume this offseason.”
Acquiring a quarterback of Watson’s caliber wouldn’t just keep the Bucs in contention — it could have them emerge as one of the top teams to contend for a Super Bowl.
It’s clear the Buccaneers intend to contend in 2022 despite the retirement of Tom Brady. This isn’t one of those scenarios where Tampa Bay is in a rebuilding mode. The Buccaneers recently franchise tagged top wide receiver Chris Godwin for roughly $19.18 milion.
Rapoport’s report ended up becoming true in reference to Wilson. Wilson remained on the West Coast as he approved a trade to the Broncos. The 33-year-old QB had rejected trade offers to the Washington Commanders and Philadelphia Eagles to remain on the West Coast.
We’ll see if Rapoport’s prediction on the Buccaneers making a run at Watson also comes to fruition.