Deshaun Watson is one of the best young Quarterbacks currently in the NFL. He is currently a member of the Houston Texans and is frustrated with the team’s front office. Moves such as trading DeAndre Hopkins, releasing JJ Watt and most importantly the hirings of GM Nick Caserio and HC David Culley, have disgruntled the young QB.
Watson formally requested a trade, and mentioned that he will never play for the Houston Texans again. He just signed a 4-year contract extension in September of 2020, with a full no-trade clause. He is willing to waive the trade clause in order to be moved elsewhere.
The Texans have stated multiple times that they have no interest in trading the star the QB, but with him threatening to sit out the season, time is working against them. The longer they wait on a trade, the lower his value will be. Watson’s value is projected at three first round picks as a minimum. Only a few teams have the assets to pull off a trade for Watson, so what teams have the most reasonable chance to acquire him?
New York Jets
The Jets are the team best suited to trade for Watson. New York has the cap space to fit Watsons contract as well as having the most assets to give up. They have two first round picks in this years and next years draft. This year that includes the 2nd overall pick, a prime pick to draft a top QB prospect. The Jets have been adding depth in free agency and with new head coach Robert Saleh they are closer to competing than most people think. Watson is a big fan of Saleh and would be a perfect player for the Jets, who haven’t had a franchise QB since Joe Namath. He would flourish in the New York market.
Carolina definitely has a lot of obvious ties to Deshaun Watson. Watson played College Football at Clemson, which is located in South Carolina. The Panthers have recently been clearing costs against the cap by releasing players. They have been very quiet in free agency as well. They are doing this to most likely take a run to trade for Watson. Carolina could trade the 8th overall pick in this years draft, RB Christian McCaffery and other future picks. Watson would be a great fit in Carolina with Matt Rhule, as well as Joe Brady as Offensive Coordinator.
The Dolphins are in an interesting situation. They currently have the 3rd overall pick that they could trade. The third overall pick was the Texans but it was traded to Miami in 2019 for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills. Now the Texans are in rebuilding mode and need to recoup draft picks, even if it is their own. The Dolphins are an up-and-coming team with head coach Brian Flores and just missed out on the playoffs in 2020. Tua Tagovailoa didn’t have the best rookie season and the Dolphins may be willing to flip him and some picks for Watson. Miami would be a great place for Watson to continue his career.
Denver has been looking for a new franchise Quarterback ever since Peyton Manning retired in 2016. The Broncos do not have as many assets as the other teams listed, but if they wanted to pool a large amount of picks and players together they could pull a trade off. Watson would be a great fit in Denver to replace Drew Lock. The Broncos have been clearing cap to potentially make the trade for Watson.
We are now almost a week into the offseason, and there are reports of a potential lawsuit against Deshaun Watson. That will be a situation to monitor and to see if it affects his trade value. No team has jumped in for a trade yet, but there is a lot of time left in the offseason since free agency just begun. It will be interesting to see where Deshaun Watson ends up.