Report: Texans QB Deshaun Watson met with ‘top people’ from the Saints, Panthers

Deshaun Watson has already met power players within the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints as the Houston Texans quarterback seeks a new franchise to continue his NFL career.

According to Aaron Wilson from the Pro Football Network, Watson met with “top people” from the Saints and Panthers on Monday night in virtual meetings. The Panthers had owner David Tepper and coach Matt Rhule on their call while the Saints had general manager Mickey Loomis and new coach Dennis Allen.

Watson’s meetings with the clubs were virtual as the three-time Pro Bowler is preparing for his March 15 deposition in a civil lawsuit wherein 22 women allege he committed sexual assault. On March 11, a Harris County grand jury declined to indict Watson based on similar criminal complaints filed with the Houston Police Department. The NFL is also conducting its own investigation into the civil lawsuit complaints to determine if Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy.

The former 2017 first-round pick from Clemson requested a trade from the Texans in January 2021 after the club hired general manager Nick Caserio and then-coach David Culley. Houston went 4-13 with Culley and fired him at the end of the season, and promoted defensive coordinator Lovie Smith to fill the vacancy.