Until Deshaun Watson publicly comes out and says those vile words, “I want to be traded,” or Nick Caserio, the future Texans head coach, and Cal McNair are all able to talk him off the top of the bridge and play football for the Houston Texans again, trade rumors are never going to stop. Let’s make this abundantly clear. There isn’t a trade package for Deshaun Watson that makes sense. That being said, if Houston is forced into pursuing this option because of their own failings, culture, Jack Easterby, lack of talent, or whatever, there are going to be plenty of teams who are going to offer it all for a top five, elite, young franchise quarterback.
Bill Barnwell at ESPN cut open his skull, bounced his brain off the balance beam, and reviewed the best potential Watson trade offers. He found 17 teams that could trade for Watson and ranked them. The full article is here.
I’m not interested in Calvin Ridley, Kirk Cousins, or Daniel Jones. I’m only interested in the top options. Here are the three best trade packages Barnwell was able to come up with.
Jets send: QB Sam Darnold (to Texans), 2022 fifth-round pick (to 49ers)
Texans send: QB Deshaun Watson (to 49ers)
Nope. Absolutely hate it.
Panthers send: Eighth and 39th overall picks in 2021, 2022 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, QB Teddy Bridgewater
Texans send: 2022 third-round pick, 2023 fourth-round pick, QB Deshaun Watson
As much as I loved Teddy Bridgewater back in 2014 and still love Teddy now, this isn’t it either. Despite the number of draft picks, how competent Bridgewater is, Carolina would also have to include Derrick Brown, Jeremy Chinn, one of their young defensive cornerstones. They would also need to take on a horrendous Houston contract or two (Whitney Mercilus? Randall Cobb?) to make it happen.
Never forget the Texans selected Xavier Su’a-Filo in 2014, purposely chose to start Ryan Fitzpatrick, and didn’t actually invest in the quarterback position despite having a talented roster that was going to bounce back immediately after a bad luck riddled 2013 season. 2021 isn’t the time to make up for previous sins.
Dolphins send: Third, 36th and 113th picks in 2021, 2022 first-round pick, 2023 fourth-round pick (to Texans), QB Tua Tagovailoa (to Bears)
Bears send: 20th overall pick in 2021 (to Texans), 2022 fourth-round pick, 2023 conditional pick (to Dolphins)
The third, 20th, 36th, and 113th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft; 2022 first and fourth round picks; and a 2023 fourth round pick. This is as good as it can get for an immediate rebuild. Nick Foles could be thrown in and then cut immediately to create future cap space.
Still, I still wouldn’t do it. This is as good as it gets, and it still isn’t good enough. The point is the same, and it’s simple: Don’t trade Deshaun Watson. There isn’t a trade package that returns equal value.