For weeks, we’ve known that one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, Deshaun Watson, is reportedly keen to leave the Houston Texans.
We heard this week from Texans general manager Nick Caserio, who emphasized that he has “zero interest” in trading their star QB. As he introduced their new head coach David Culley, he reiterated his organization’s commitment to Watson.
Watson’s issues arose as a result of his lack of involvement in the process of hiring a new GM and head coach in early January, despite the organization’s promise to value his opinion. Since then, rumors of his intentions to leave Houston have continued to gain momentum.
While Culley, a former assistant head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, is also adamant Watson will be a Texan in 2021, Adam Schefter reports that his appointment will not change the QB’s thinking.
Given Watson’s ability, arguably every team in the league would be interested in the 2020 passing yard leader. The Jets, however, are one of just a handful of franchises that possess the essential assets to make a deal possible.
The most obvious challenge, to any trade, depends on the willingness of the other team to negotiate or take part in a deal. In this scenario, it’s hard to see any reason why Houston would even consider a trade for Watson, one of the most exciting young talents of this generation.
Watson only signed a new four-year deal a matter of months ago, which includes an all-important no-trade clause. That essentially means a trade would have to go above and beyond the Texans’ desires to even be remotely considered.
Why the Texans need a fresh start
So why should the Texans be forced into a trade? They hold a prize from such a limited list of top-tier quarterbacks, who are so vital to success in this sport. This shouldn’t be a difficult decision for them to make.
But ultimately, have the Texans reached a point of no return with Watson? The priorities of the organization will always trump those of an individual.
This whole affair is starting to turn into a PR disaster for Houston; it’s taken weeks for a senior member of the organization to even recognize and dismiss the possibility of a trade.
If Watson hasn’t moved on soon, or if the situation hasn’t been resolved, then don’t expect these unpleasant rumors for Houston to disappear.
Players that aren’t happy simply won’t play or perform to their usual standards. That prospect is surely worse for the Texans, who’ll have by then missed their chance to cash-in for the wantaway QB.
This awful start to 2021 follows a dismal year in 2020 for the Texans.
Despite Watson’s standout performances last season, in which he recorded the second-highest QB rating across the league at 112.4, they went from blowing a 24-0 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round to firing Bill O’Brien just four games into the new season and then ultimately finishing 4-12.
And that’s not even mentioning the infamous trade of another disgruntled star, All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins, to Arizona, in what’s been dubbed the “worst deal of all-time.”
They’ll certainly be looking to acquire any resources they can, considering what they should have recouped in that particular trade.
Surely then, considering similar issues surrounding the franchise over the past 12 months, they’ll be looking to put a stop to all the gossip as soon as possible.
With trade rumors regarding the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt, it seems now is the most logical time for the Texans to start a complete rebuild this year under their new management.
As they have no first-round picks in this year’s draft currently, they’ll surely be looking at options to get involved.
The NY Jets shouldn’t be put off by Nick Caserio’s comments
Watson’s frustrations originate from relationship issues with members within Houston’s front office. It’s accurate to say the Jets have had their fair share of turbulence over the past few years.
Jets fans will know better than to believe Caserio’s statement based on the Jamal Adams situation in 2020, in which Jets GM Joe Douglas initially stated his plan to ensure the star safety would be “a Jet for life,” only to then trade him to Seattle later that year in a deal that included a pair of first-round draft picks.
That deal will probably be the most similar to what a package for Watson could look like, but even that should be dwarfed by the potential deal for the Houston QB. This deal could very well become the largest trade ever seen in NFL history.
But the Jets are more than capable of making it possible considering how many draft picks from the early rounds they have in 2021 and 2022. They hold nine picks in total in the top three rounds of the next two drafts and they could also include Sam Darnold in any sort of offer to the Texans.
A contract for Watson wouldn’t be an issue, the amount of financial ammunition and flexibility at their disposal this year should make the signing fairly straightforward once a deal is agreed to. We’ve already laid out possible trade options that the Jets could consider for Watson.
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The NY Jets can easily top offers for Deshaun Watson from other teams
Whilst interest from other teams is, as you’d expect, extensive, only the Dolphins can arguably match what the Jets have to offer in terms of a substantial package of resources, certainly in terms of early draft picks.
The AFC East rivals both hold two first-round picks this year and could offer a package that includes a young QB to go in the opposite direction to Houston.
Miami drafted Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall in 2020 and despite some belief that he underwhelmed in his rookie year, it’s worth noting that he still finished 6-3 as a starter. It’ll be hard for them to move on from Tua after such a short period.
They’ve also just hired Central Michigan offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, who coached Tua during the Elite 11 high school camp in 2016, to become their QB coach which further suggests their commitment to last year’s fifth overall pick.
And, as they continue to search for a new offensive coordinator, having parted ways with Chan Gailey earlier in January, they’ll certainly be looking to find the right play-caller to develop the former Alabama man.
Any deal for Watson must surely include a trade for Tua, but it seems Miami is probably settled on their man, so this seems unlikely.
It’s even rumored that Watson himself would prefer a trade to the Jets over the Dolphins. Recent reports suggest that Watson was keen for Robert Saleh to be interviewed for the then-vacant head coach position in Houston, prior to the ex-49ers defensive coordinator being snapped up by the Jets.
The appointment of Saleh, and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, must then be a huge incentive for Watson to move, considering how he’s longed to work within a well-coached and energetic system that Saleh offers.
Ultimately, the Jets fanbase has been overwhelmed with excitement recently over a potential trade for Watson, and Caserio’s comments won’t change that in the slightest.
This is a huge chance for the Jets, and Joe Douglas should do whatever it takes to get Deshaun Watson playing in New York.