The Deshaun Watson trade request is something that you almost never see in the NFL: a young star quarterback making an NBA-esque demand, just months removed from signing a massive deal with the team that drafted him. “You don’t get 25-year old star quarterbacks on the market,” Colin Cowherd said on his show today. “This does not happen. Ever.”
Watson is one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, and as Cowherd said, is just 25 years old. He should command a massive return from wherever he is dealt. Of course, he also has a no trade clause, which throws a real wrench into things for the Texans, as he can dictate where he goes.
Cowherd has eight teams that make the most sense for Watson, among those who could realistically make a move for him. He eliminated two real contenders in need of a quarterback off the top: the Indianapolis Colts, who Houston won’t trade Watson to as a division rival, and the New Orleans Saints, who are in a very rough salary cap situation. He has the San Francisco 49ers as the best situation for Watson, followed by the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Washington Football Team, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, and finally, the New York Jets, in that order.
“I’m going to put them in order as if I’m Deshaun Watson, what would I choose based on a variety of factors? No. 1 would be San Francisco by a mile. They are, without Deshaun Watson, a top five Super Bowl favorite next year… They are stacked, and not happy with Jimmy Garoppolo.”
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 28, 2021
Cowherd thinks that the Jets present the worst situation for Watson, but also may be the most realistic option, considering how much they can give Houston. The No. 2 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft would likely be the centerpiece of a move.
“Of all the teams, this works best. They could give the Texans Sam Darnold and the No. 2 pick, so you get Zach Wilson. The Jets makes the most sense by a mile, and I think Deshaun would make it work. And Deshaun has said ‘I like Robert Saleh.’
“But what is fascinating about this is the Jets are the worst choice, but they’re the one organization that the Texans can call and get a future star quarterback, a bunch of future second and third-round picks, ‘I don’t have to play them in division, I won’t have to see him very often. In fact, I can get Sam Darnold for a year, and a No. 2 pick, and when the No. 2 pick is ready to play I can trade Sam Darnold and get more picks.’ The Jets make the most sense by a mile and I think it would be fascinating.
“But in terms of if I’m Deshaun Watson, and what I as a quarterback would want, Jets would be eighth. I mean, seriously… ownership, do you trust? Front office, do you know? Robert Saleh, who knows? Weapons, bad. O-Line, bad. They have one workable running back. They got nothing. But my guess is this morning, the Jets are in the hunt very early for this.”
There have been rumors that the New York Jets are among Deshaun Watson’s favorite destinations, though Cowherd is right about the current situation being worse than many of the other teams listed. New York is a draw though, and it is hard to know how that plays into Watson’s thinking.
However things play out, we should know in the next few months. The 2021 NFL Draft starts on April 29.