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Peter King Names 4 'Best Candidates' For Deshaun Watson Trade

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson runs away from a defender.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 20: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans tries to avoid the tackle of Justin Houston #50 of the Indianapolis Colts in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

As much as the Texans would like to keep Deshaun Watson in Houston, a trade feels inevitable at this point.

If Watson keeps telling Houston's front office he wants a trade, the organization won't have much of a choice. The clock is ticking as well. The Texans would be wise to trade the franchise quarterback ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft to acquire the high number of draft picks they'd receive in a blockbuster trade involving Watson.

In the event Houston finally gives in and ships Watson elsewhere, NFL insider Peter King has four "best candidates" in mind. They include the Panthers, Jets, 49ers and a three-team trade involving Houston, Minnesota and San Francisco.

Carolina tops the chart. The Panthers have the assets to make a blockbuster trade for Watson, but it would require Christian McCaffrey and Teddy Bridgewater as well as high draft picks, according to King.

"I’d be surprised if the Panthers hadn’t made an offer by now, quite frankly," King wrote via Pro Football Talk. "This is a fit in many ways. Very aggressive new owner (David Tepper), who would move mountains for a franchise QB. It’s not in the AFC, meaning Houston wouldn’t have to see Watson in the playoffs till the Super Bowl. (That would be a Belichick factor.) Because the Panthers are not flush with draft capital, I think they’d have to include a quarterback with some value and at least two very good veteran players."

The Jets, 49ers and Vikings may also try and become involved in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, if they haven't already.

One of King's most interesting proposals involves a three-team trade between Houston, Minnesota and San Francisco.

The deal would send Watson to Minnesota, Kirk Cousins to San Francisco and Jimmy Garoppolo to Houston.