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NY Jets: 3 obstacles standing in the way of Deshaun Watson

NY Jets, Deshaun Watson Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Deshaun Watson Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets, Deshaun Watson
NY Jets, Deshaun Watson

NY Jets, Deshaun Watson Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets are undoubtedly keeping a close eye on the Deshaun Watson situation that continues to unravel in Houston. The star Texans quarterback wants out, and it doesn’t appear as though anything is changing his mind.

A recent meeting with new head coach David Culley didn’t result in any changes. His stance remains the same — he doesn’t plan to play another game for the Texans’ organization.

Watson’s issues aren’t with Culley or new head coach Nick Caserio. They’re with owner Cal McNair and high-ranking executive Jack Easterby. And since McNair and Easterby aren’t going anywhere, it’s hard to imagine the situation being resolved.

The Jets are one of the teams that could look to capitalize on this golden opportunity to partake in a trade unlike anything the NFL has seen before.

And on the surface, they appear to be best equipped to make a serious run at the All-Pro QB. Given their combination of movable assets (draft capital) and financial flexibility, the Jets find themselves in a great position.

However, there are a handful of obstacles that stand in the way.

The Jets aren’t the only team that will be in pursuit of Watson if he becomes available — far from it. And this situation is no closer to being resolved than it was a few weeks ago.

We’re at a standstill for now, and the clock is working against everyone involved.

Let’s analyze a few obstacles that could stand in the way of the Jets trading for Watson.

Next: 3. The Jets are in the AFC

NY Jets, Deshaun Watson
NY Jets, Deshaun Watson

NY Jets, Deshaun Watson Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

3. The NY Jets are in the AFC

The Jets may be able to put together the most appealing package, but they do have one disadvantage when it comes to half the league. They’re in the AFC along with the Texans, and Houston would prefer to trade him out of the conference.

Now, it’s not as though simply being in the same conference would prevent a trade from occurring. After all, the Jets aren’t in the same division as their potential trade partners.

But in an ideal world, the Texans would prefer to ship Watson out of the conference to avoid running into him down the line. Imagine Houston builds up their roster to a competitive level, only to be booted from the playoffs by their former franchise icon?

To put it simply, would you rather have Patrick Mahomes in the AFC or NFC if you’re the Jets? The answer is straightforward.

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That benefits a team like the Carolina Panthers who are expected to be very aggressive in their pursuit of Watson. Again, they can’t offer the same package of draft capital that the Jets can.

However, they can offer more assets in the form of players (Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Brian Burns, etc.) and have the advantage of being in the opposite conference.

No one knows how much the Texans would value this. And the Jets are the only team that could offer Houston their pick of any quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft not named Trevor Lawrence.

But this is something working against the Jets. The Texans don’t want to worry about Deshaun Watson standing in their way of a Super Bowl appearance.

And the best way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to ship him to the NFC.

Next: 2. The absurd asking price

NY Jets, Deshaun Watson
NY Jets, Deshaun Watson

NY Jets, Deshaun Watson Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

2. The absurd asking price for Deshaun Watson

The Jets have the draft capital needed to make a strong push for Deshaun Watson. But there is a limit to what they’ll be willing to pay.

It’s difficult to gauge Watson’s trade value mostly because a player of his value has never been traded before. There has never been a 25-year-old top-five quarterback traded at any point in NFL history — let alone during an era where quarterbacks are more valuable than ever.

This is unprecedented in every sense of the word. So much so that whatever the Texans would feasibly get back in a return package would never match Watson’s value.

He quite literally is priceless.

And that right there could prevent the Jets from advancing beyond preliminary trade talks.

If the Texans set the asking price at four first-round picks plus, say, Quinnen Williams, general manager Joe Douglas is likely going to halt the discussion right there.

Douglas and the Jets have the draft capital and Quinnen Williams, despite how valuable he is, shouldn’t be off-limits. But there is such a thing as an unreasonable price for the Jets to pay.

And that unreasonable price would include any package asking for three or more first-round picks plus their budding star defensive tackle. It’s difficult to imagine Douglas agreeing to such a deal.

The Texans could and should ask for an absurd return. This is Deshaun Watson, after all. He is priceless.

But just because a player is priceless, doesn’t mean a price can’t be set. The Jets aren’t going to meet Houston’s absurd asking price.

A middle ground has to be reached for a trade to occur.

Next: 1. The Texans' incompetency

NY Jets, Deshaun Watson
NY Jets, Deshaun Watson

NY Jets, Deshaun Watson Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

1. The Texans’ incompetency could stand in the NY Jets’ way of Deshaun Watson

If the Texans were a smart, competent organization, they would trade Deshaun Watson as soon as possible. There is no outcome where they emerge as winners in this situation.

Let’s play out one possible scenario.

The Texans refuse to trade Watson and let this situation boil over into the regular season. Assuming Watson doesn’t change his stance, he continues to hold out as long as possible. In order to avoid his contract tolling to next season, Watson eventually reports ahead of Week 10.

He then plays out the final seven or so games of the season, presumably with no help to the Texans. After all, they would have just played more than half the season with a backup quarterback — and it’s not as if their roster is very good even with Watson.

Now, one year later, they find themselves in the exact same situation they were in a year ago. Watson still wants out. He’s prepared to do the same thing again. And now, his value is diminished because his cap hit is larger and they lost all leverage.

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This is why it makes zero sense for the Texans to hold on to Watson this offseason. Assuming he stands by his mindset — which by all accounts he will — the Texans cannot win in this situation.

The best thing they can do is to trade him while his value is at its highest, meaning this offseason. Before the draft, preferably before free agency.

But this is the Houston Texans we’re talking about. Their own incompetency is the very reason they’ve gotten themselves in this mess. Expecting them to make the correct decision would be searching for logic in an illogical place.

This is a situation that should benefit the Jets or any other team pursuing Watson. But the Texans’ own incompetency might leave everyone involved as losers.

Next. NY Jets build around Justin Fields in 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

But none more so than their dysfunctional organization.

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