Texans fans across the area have remained optimistic that the franchise would not entertain the possibility of a trade involving QB Deshaun Watson. However, given how toxic the relationship has between the two sides has become, it’s becoming more realistic. Watson asked to be involved in the search for a new head coach, following the dismissal of Bill O’Brien after the team started the 2020 season 0-4.
Deshaun has remained quiet, verbally speaking, on day-to-day operations of the franchise. However, following Easterby’s successful attempt to undercut the hiring process for a new general manager, it seems as though Watson might be done in Houston, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
There is a growing sense from people in and around the Texans’ organization that Deshaun Watson has played his last snap for the team. It’s early in the off-season, there’s a lot of time left, but Watson’s feelings cannot and should not be underestimated.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2021
If that’s the case, then the best thing that the organization can do is get a deal done as soon as possible. With the 2021 NFL Draft only three months away, the Texans could get some much needed draft capital in a deal involving the star quarterback.
Even further, moving Watson to another team, in exchange for draft picks or a replacement quarterback, would lessen the time needed for a rebuild.
Let’s take look at some possible destinations.
The Miami Dolphins
It’s been reported that this is Watson’s preferred trade destination. Quite frankly, it makes sense. Miami, specifically South Beach, is known for it’s nightlife. It’s hip and cool, and seems to really cater to Deshaun’s style.
The Dolphins have four picks in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, two of which came from Houston by way of the Laremy Tunsil trade. Miami has enough draft capital to satisfy what it would take for Houston to consider the trade. More so, the Texans could possibly recoup a draft pick or two that it sent to Miami in the first place.
Furthermore, the Dolphins could package together a deal involving Tua Tagovailoa, the former Alabama quarterback and Miami’s 5th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, to sweeten the deal.
The Miami Dolphins have little talent at the wide receiver position, but given what Watson was able to do in 2020 with the Houston Texans wide receivers, I think he’ll be just fine in Miami.
The New York Jets
Much like Miami, the Jets have the draft capital to make this trade work, too. Not only does New York have the 2nd overall pick, but they also have the 23rd overall pick. While the 2nd pick is enticing, I don’t think that the Jets have to include it in order to get a deal done. The 23rd pick, a couple of future firsts, as well as QB Sam Darnold, should be plenty for Houston. Darnold was far from good this season, but that could be attributed to their former head coach, Adam Gase.
Going even further, New York might be a city that Deshaun would prefer, too. While it’s not as enticing as Miami might seem be, he would be on center stage with the Jets. Furthermore, the Jets just hired Robert Saleh as their head coach. Saleh seems to be the perfect coach to get the most out of his players.
The Chicago Bears
The Bears don’t have the draft capital that the other teams do, but it may not be required. A trade to Chicago would get Deshaun Watson out of the AFC. If Chicago could package together multiple first round picks, or even a player or two, the Texans should consider it.
Is it a perfect trade partner?
Of course not. However, I don’t know if there is a perfect partner. One thing is clear in Chicago – they need a quarterback. Head coach Matt Nagy has tried to make it work with Mitchell Trubisky, but to little success. With his job on the line, Nagy might push for this to happen. If that’s the case, Chicago might continue to sweeten the deal.
Regardless of what happens, I think we all want the best for Deshaun. Watson has carried this team on his shoulders for four season now, resulting in two division titles. As fans, we obviously want more. We want to compete for Super Bowl trophies. While we all may not want to trade Deshaun Watson, it may be the only path moving this organization forward.