Where is Deshaun Watson going? How much will the Houston Texans get for him? What would the trade package include? These are the three questions that have surrounded the Houston Texans for the last year.
These questions became clearer and more convoluted at the same time this week. The Green Bay Packers retained Aaron Rodgers, the Denver Broncos acquired Russell Wilson, and the Washington Football Team added Carson Wentz. Two teams who were on paper Watson trade partners balked at the possibility and found solutions elsewhere.
For this week’s GroupThink, I asked the masthead the following questions. These were our responses:
Deshaun Watson is pleading the fifth, and nothing ever makes any sense. We thought by now the cases would be settled, but the case is being taken to a grand jury on Friday, and Watson’s request to delay his disposition never occurred, meaning he will plead the fifth this Friday.
Watson was a top five quarterback a season ago, now he’s completely out of the league, and out of the picture after sitting out last season with a trade request. He lost a season because of an ACL tear his rookie season, years wasted under Bill O’Brien, a complete collapse in 2020, his decision to sit out in 2021 and the current sexual assault allegations. His career so far has been wasted, and he has spent the last two years continuing to make decisions waste it.
We thought Watson would be traded before this year’s draft, but the newest courtroom events has even put that into limbo. Previous possible trade partners are looking elsewhere—even at Carson Wentz, who has been a bottom ten quarterback the last two seasons.
I’m at a loss. I have no idea. My best guess now is the Seattle Seahawks. They have $40 million in dead money, Drew Lock and Geno Smith battling their quarterback spot, recently cut Bobby Wagner, and are now rebuilding for the future. They replenished their draft capital after trading for Jamal Adams two silly summers ago. They could give up three first round picks, three second round picks, and a player or two. Seattle could eat Watson sitting out for a season if needed, and have a quarterback of the future—which would be a better position than Drew Lock.
I have no idea.
There are still too many unknowns. Personally, I still don’t believe he is traded before the draft unless he somehow settles the legal aspects before then. That might be 2022. It might not!
Then, the NFL is likely to suspend him. That said, it’s not like he made small bets on the NFL, he only allegedly sexually assaulted 20+ women!, which the NFL finds mostly cool, it seems. Any team trading for him will have to consider that.
I don’t know if the Fightin’ Dan Snyders, er, Commanders going off the Watson board will make that big a different. They were my dark horse team to make a deal, if for no other reason than Dan Snyder apparently has no issues with “boys being boys”, but I guess he is somewhat sidelined…that or he is really, really not wanting to cause any political problems for Northern Virginia as he hopes to secure a new stadium there.
As for Watson, it may not be a matter of who or when, but if. Maybe teams are looking to make a deal, but I would be very, very surprised if anyone makes near the offer of three first round picks and three third round selections, which Houston rejected last year. Also, that whole legal thing hangs over Watson like a Reign of Terror Guillotine. Watson is a proven talent, but no team, one, wants to take the PR hit, or two, sacrifice such a package for a player that at the minimum will face a major suspension from the league, if not far more significant punishment from the Justice system.
Throw in that Watson has veto power and, pending a criminal conviction, a whole lotta guaranteed money coming his way, and he has a lot of say in this matter. Houston is in a bad spot here, with no good answers. Not that Watson will ever suit up for Houston on the field again, but the Texans will not have it easy.
I suspect that unless there is a massive settlement made and absolute certainty that the DA will not file any charges after a quick acquittal from the Grand Jury, Watson will remain on the roster after the draft, leaving the Texans with the choice of making him a $40 million a year healthy scratch, settling to trade him for a worse return than when the Oilers shipped out Moon (1st and 4th from MIN), or Cal grows so annoyed that he orders Easterby and Caserio to just cut him so they can move on, cap hit and lost picked be [Easterbyed].
It sucks that trading Watson has more to do with legal drama then actual football, but speaking solely from the football side of things you’d have to think baring a major blunder by the Texans front office, Watson has to net you around what Wilson was traded for.
First round picks are being thrown around like candy these days so it comes down to other assets in the deal. Depending on what young players a team if willing to throw in can make or break a deal for Watson.
Carolina Panthers and New York Giants are the two teams that really have solid pieces they could move for Watson’s services. Carolina has plenty of young talent on defense to choose from and same goes for the Giants but it depends how much each is willing to part with.
Depending on Watson waiving his no trade clause those are the two I could see him being shipped too.
It sure seems like the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks are the frontrunners to land Watson in some sort of trade. The Seahawks were able to fleece Houston not that long ago for Jadeveon Clowney, and NFL general managers have long memories of such things. So, it would be no surprise at all if rumors swirl that Seattle has offered Houston a few draft picks and three players they were about to cut in exchange for Watson. Hopefully, Nick Caserio doesn’t bite on those magic beans, but he’s not exactly proven to be a Rick Smith level trade negotiator just yet. Not like Smith was the Steve Jobs of NFL trading, but next to the current front office he looks better and better with every yard that passes through the rear view mirror.
The Panthers seem far more desperate, with a head coach and general manager looking at hot seats if the 2022 season doesn’t show dramatic improvement over the last two seasons. And, never underestimate the ability of a head coach and general manager to poorly leverage a franchise’s future to save their jobs right now.
If the Texans had any evidence at all over the last several years that they actually understood how to properly trade in the NFL, it would seem credible based on the Russell Wilson trade that H-Town gets bare minimum two two round picks and two second rounders, plus a few players in exchange for Watson.
But this is still the owner and executive VP of football foolishness that sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for a steaming bag of [KITTEN] and then bragged about it afterwards.
With all that said, there’s zero reason to believe this trade happens in a manner that’s tangibly favorable for the Texans. Too bad they can’t trade the front office...
If I were to make a wild guess, I’d say Carolina. They’ve been in on him the entire time. If I were to guess on compensatio,n I’d say two ones and two twos. Of course, if Deshaun winds up in the pokey, Caserio will get nothing.
Now we turn to you. Where do you think Watson is eventually headed?
Where will Deshaun Watson be traded?
This poll is closed
New York (G).