Patriots: Where do Deshaun Watson trade talks stand after Wentz deal?

All the jersey swaps and desperate pleas in the world won’t send Deshaun Watson to the New England Patriots, and the team’s hard pass on Carson Wentz certainly didn’t come because they’re far down the Watson rabbit hole.

But, weeks after we first learned that the quarterback’s displeasure was both genuine and advanced, it seems fair to ask: is anyone building momentum in the Deshaun Watson trade talks?

Or is Jack Easterby going to keep him in the building after taking the reins, jettisoning JJ Watt, and infuriating the 53-man roster?

Neither side of the coin sounds like a particularly winning message, as all Watson communication remains in the hypothetical.

At first, we thought Easterby and Nick Caserio might be secret moles, sent from New England to Houston in an effort to destroy the Texans from within.

That’ll teach them to…wear lettermen jackets and…start Brock Osweiler in a playoff game against us…ok, you know what? We’re really not certain what we still need revenge for here.

It turns out, though, that Caserio might be hamstrung or obstinate, and Easterby is out for no one but himself, interested in attaining power but not using it for anything. So now we’re stuck here, watching QB options come off the board while Watson’s situation still seems to be simmering, not boiling.

Are the Patriots in on Deshaun Watson? Is anyone?

The two veterans who’ve recently found non-New England new homes, Wentz and Matthew Stafford, both came with their warts.

Wentz surely brought with him an interest in reuniting with Frank Reich, and Stafford, an expensive veteran who’s gutted through myriad injuries, didn’t want to join Year 1 of a Patriots semi-rebuild. Understood.

But who else remains in the pipeline, other than Watson and Jimmy Garoppolo? And if you thought Watson was an unlikely fit in New England weeks ago back when this was a trending topic, what about now, when the action has almost entirely died down?

The price of a Watson trade has very little to do with Wentz’s haul. It also, unfortunately, doesn’t appear to have coincided with JJ Watt’s swift departure, either, another Texans talent whose next stop had better include the possibility of a ring.

This slow-trickle trade talk has given us the benefit of a different favorite for Watson nearly every week. First, the Jets were his preferred destination, and the AFC East runner-up Dolphins were firmly entrenched as the team with the most capital in the chase. Neither has been successful in obtaining his services yet.

The Broncos eventually became betting favorites, belied by a lack of momentum. Then we heard the Panthers were ready to risk it all, as confirmed by…well, no one who’d know.

So, what of the Patriots? They can provide unparalleled organizational stability; whether or not they’re a ring-chasing destination in 2021, can anyone really guarantee me the other four teams I just listed will be in a better position than New England by 2023?

All we know is that myriad favorites have come and gone for Watson, who hasn’t inched forward in the weeks since he first asked out. As silence remains the dominant motif, why not the Patriots?