Of all the teams that seem like frontrunners to acquire Deshaun Watson in a trade, the New York Jets are arguably the least ready to contend for a title. Acquiring Watson would certainly bring them closer, but their ongoing rebuild would likely be delayed.
Between Watson's massive cap hit in 2022 and the massive price the Jets would have to pay to get him, building around him would be tough. However, according to The Athletic, Watson has been made aware of this reality.
Watson signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension before the 2020 season. He is set to make just under $16 million in 2021 before making over $40 million in 2022.
The Jets currently have the third-most cap space in the NFL, according to OverTheCap. They will have the sixth-most cap space in 2022, but Watson would still account for more than 25-percent of their cap that season.
The New York Jets went 2-14 in 2020, firing head coach Adam Gase and hiring Robert Saleh to replace him. Incumbent quarterback Sam Darnold is now on his second general manager and third head coach since the team drafted him in 2018. As a result, it's very likely that the Jets front office goes in a different direction - whether they can get Deshaun Watson or not.
There's no doubt the Jets have the assets to make such a deal. They have four first-round picks over the next two years, including the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Getting an elite QB like Deshaun Watson would give the Jets instant credibility among free agents, and would certainly be an upgrade under center.
Of course, all of this is moot if the Houston Texans stick by their guns and refuse to trade Watson for anything.