The NY Jets are no closer to determining who their quarterback will be in 2021 now than they were a week ago. But the ever-present rumors surrounding Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson continue to run rampant.
Watson remains set on never playing another snap for the organization after a year of turmoil, incompetence, and deceit. Meanwhile, the Texans continue to insist that they have no intentions of trading their quarterback despite his qualms.
It’s an old-fashioned standoff. Who will break first? That remains to be seen.
Nonetheless, the Jets remain at the forefront of rumors surrounding where the Pro-Bowl quarterback could play next. What’s the latest update on said rumors?
Trade talks for Deshaun Watson start with the NY Jets
It should be abundantly clear by now that the Jets are best positioned to put together an appealing package for the Texans in a hypothetical trade. No team has more to offer when it comes to draft capital and additional assets.
As a result, Houston Texans reporter John McClain, perhaps the most plugged-in Texans reporter there is, recently said on KOA radio in Denver that “trade talks start with the Jets.”
He indicated that the fact that the Jets have the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft plus three more first-rounders over the next two years gives them the best chance to be able to land Watson.
McClain pointed out that the Texans will want their pick of the quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft class — excluding Trevor Lawrence — and the Jets are the only team that could offer them that.
In this case, there’s a sizable difference between the No. 2 and No. 3 overall pick that the Miami Dolphins own. And there’s an even greater drop-off to the No. 8 overall selection where the Carolina Panthers sit.
McClain also reiterated that the “Jets are on his list of one of the teams where he would go,” refuting prior reports that suggest the opposite. If there’s anyone (other than Watson and his camp) who knows what’s going on with the Watson situation, it’s McClain.
Finally, the long-time Houston reporter insisted that if the Texans are going to trade him this offseason, it’s going to have to be before the draft. That isn’t exactly breaking news, but it does reiterate that there is a time limit on any potential Watson trade.
Once the draft passes, it’s likely this situation gets dragged out into the season.
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Are the Carolina Panthers gearing up for a run at Deshaun Watson?
The Panthers are another team that has been constantly connected to Watson rumors. And in recent days, they’ve made a number of moves to create additional cap space sparking rumors that they’re doing so to prepare for a run at Watson.
Carolina has released the likes of Kawann Short, Stephen Weatherly, Tre Boston, and Michael Palardy all within the last three days to essentially double the team’s cap space.
And ESPN’s David Newton insinuated that this extra cap space could be the organization preparing for their pursuit of Watson. Newton directly stated that the Panthers “plan to make a strong run” at Watson if the Texans agree to trade him.
That said, it should be noted that these moves to save cap space are getting a bit overblown. The Panthers were already expected to make the cuts that they did and it’s unlikely the Watson factor played a role.
Carolina still only has a little over $17 million in cap space putting them at a significant disadvantage when it comes to building around Watson in any potential trade.
Combine that with their lack of draft capital when compared to the Jets and Dolphins and it’s hard to see a scenario where they put together the most appealing package.
But they have two things working in their favor. They will be aggressive and the Texans would like to move Watson outside the AFC. Only time will tell if that’s enough to land Watson in Charlotte.
The Jets are still very much in the conversation for Deshaun Watson. But until the Texans blink, no trade appears imminent.