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BRB Groupthink: Final Destination

The masthead joins together and discusses the Deshaun Watson situation.

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Houston Texans offseason is stalled until they trade Deshaun Watson. The Texans were down to four teams: Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, and Cleveland. Since then, Cleveland and Carolina has exited the running. Who do you think Houston trades him to, and what is your ideal package Houston would receive for him?

These are our responses:

MATT WESTON:

The Panthers have the best offer out there, but as we have learned, Watson is out on them. With it either being the Saints and Falcons, I’m hoping for Atlanta. They can give up A.J. Terrell, Chris Lindstrom, and then collect picks from there. These are rookie contract players that can be focal points on a roster, and can be built out from there with a collection of picks. I think Watson wants New Orleans though, which will lead to a lesser trade.

RIVERS MCCOWN:

The Texans offseason is stalled with or without the trade.

EVAN WILSMORE:

Originally, I was sold on Carolina. I thought they would have the most assets and therefore present the best offer. However, I believe New Orleans is currently the frontrunner, and the Falcons are my “dark horse.” If it ends up being the Saints, I’d like to see a deal that includes Brandin Cooks in exchange for Michael Thomas. If it’s Atlanta, then A.J. Terrell should be the main target. Then, of course, there are the draft picks. Hard to project how many will be included but I imagine two or three firsts and something on day two. Depending on the return (maybe with more depth/role players) it could be one or two day three picks.

BIGFATDRUNK:

I don’t really care. I want Watson way out of Houston, and if we get back a couple of sevenths for him, I wouldn’t care one bit.

Don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out, Deshaun.

VBALLRETIRED:

First of all, as much as we love to poke fun at Caserio and the Texans, I can’t imagine him handling this any better if all of the reports are true. Of course, the end result is what he will be judged on.

As far as the Texans are concerned, I think Atlanta can offer the most immediate bang for the buck. I think it would be three firsts and the two seconds this year. They likely throw in their top corner or offensive guard. I think New Orleans is the best destination for Watson. They have a solid defense in place, a good line, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas. They have a full complement of picks so it likely ends up being three firsts, two seconds, and maybe a third or fourth there.

Carolina and Cleveland have met the basic bar to make a deal, but they don’t have the same capital and Watson probably isn’t as keen on them. If Watson is thinking emotionally it will be Atlanta. If he’s thinking professionally it will be New Orleans. Like everyone else, I just want and done and over with.

RANDAL BRONN:

Here’s I see it. First round picks mean nothing. Picks are being thrown around this year like t shirts at a sporting event and there’s no bet that those picks will be good so better option would be to look for young players. New Orleans is a retirement home with not much to choose from. Atlanta has pieces in A.J. Terrell, Kyle Pitts etc but none that I can see being including. Carolina is my runner up because I’m a huge fan of Jeremy Chinn and with Justin Reid gone he’d fit right in but you look at Cleveland and all the young talent they have, as much as it would suck to trade Watson in the AFC, you could potentially get any some of Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah, Greg Newsome, Jedrick Wills, Grant Delpit, Wyatt Teller. There’s a lot more to choose from with Cleveland so return wise I’d say Cleveland is our best bet.

L4BLITZER:

It would appear the Texans have a golden opportunity for a massive haul and the chance to accelerate their rebuild. Of course, knowing how the Texans have been, they will probably find a way to screw it up. The team is trading a franchise-level quarterback after all (Yes, there is the legal/ethical baggage, but given that other teams are now chomping at the bit to obtain Watson, what does that say about the league writ large?). Much is made about the draft picks, as it should be, but as for other players? That I am not too sure about.

Yes, there is talent in Cleveland and Carolina that would be most intrigued with (young defensive stars mostly). However, will one of those players make a difference, or perhaps it is best just to keep the draft picks? Also, since Watson has ultimate veto power, he will be able to keep tabs on the offer. If a team trades a major offensive weapon for him, what will Watson think? A big part of why Watson wanted out of Houston was a dearth of overall talent level, thus the general manager search which he apparently was promised he would have input and never got it...would Watson go for leaving the Texans only to be in just as bad a talent situation? Some might call it poetic justice, but that is not great business sense, and I can’t see Watson making that type of move.

I would rather Watson go to the NFC, but for sheer intrigue and seeing just how the [Easterby] they will pull it off, give me the Falcons. Blank is no stranger to controversial quarterbacks on the roster and then the second and third order moves to try to off-load Matt Ryan and his ginormous contract and the cap gymnastic ATL will have to undergo to make it happen...that will be worth the price of admission. Also, since Tom Brady is pulling off Brett Favre 2.0 and he is back in the NFC South, the demand for a franchise-level quarterback in the division shot up big-time (no surprise that the biggest suitors for Watson’s services are the other three teams in that division).

Caserio can and should play hard-ball. Needs to be at least four or more first rounders and/or a major All-Pro level stud or two...Not sure Atlanta can provide the players, but let’s go for the picks. Besides, North Georgia must be feeling lucky in the sporty-ball world, given the Bulldogs ending a 41-year college football championship drought and the Braves winning their first World Series in 25 years (sob!!!!). Sacrifice key future assets to obtain a franchise-QB in his prime that can go toe-to-toe with Brady? Why not?

MIKE BULLOCK:

Wednesday’s Blake Cashman trade sunk any hope I had of Caserio actually behaving like a competent GM. Which in turn, unravels most of my excitement over the pending treasure trove of roster assets Houston should acquire in the Deshaun Watson trade.

This pending trade is a franchise altering, landmark moment in the history of the Houston Texans. And, as sure as I am that Watson is one of the best young quarterbacks out there right now, I’m equally sure that the Texans front office is THE worst out there.

All that to say, my hopeful expectations of a major roster improvement ala what the Dallas Cowboys got from the Minnesota Vikings in the infamous Herschel Walker trade have eroded to the point I just hope Caserio and crew don’t add even more embarrassment and shame to the good fans of the Houston Texans.

To be clear, Texans fans owe the team NOTHING. But, a business that relies heavily on fan support owes their fanbase far better than what the Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins trades wrought. A potential practice squad linebacker for a 6th round pick? Are you [kitten] kidding me? Would have been cheaper, and probably more effective, to re-sign David Johnson and convert him to linebacker...

The NFL is a form of entertainment and at the moment we are not entertained...

Back to the initial question, I’d imagine the best trade package would come from the Carolina Panthers or New Orleans Saints, two teams going head to head in the same division and trying to find answers for the Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers question they each face twice a year. Cleveland probably has the best player assets to send over, but looking at Nick Caserio’s apparent inability to gauge a veteran player’s trade value, that should be removed from consideration. One thing Caserio did seem to do well was draft, so the Saints edge out the Panthers in that regard, with three available top 100 picks this year, while Carolina only has one. So, New Orleans for the win. Besides, Watson should fit in that city far better than he does Houston.

But... the dark horse in there is the Atlanta Falcons. They currently hold 4 top 100 picks, including the 8th overall. Think of all the practice squad linebackers Caserio could trade for with those picks! Kidding... maybe...

All that to say, I hope it’s the Atlanta Falcons, because they seem prepared to offer the best trade package, and have the same desire to get after the division rival Buccaneers.