It may seem like ancient history now, but it wasn't long ago that the Jets seemed like one of the frontrunners to make a run at the three-time Pro Bowler.
But just as quickly as those rumors surfaced, they faded away. Waston's legal situation complicated his trade value and the Texans would ultimately hold on to him for the entire 2021 season. Meanwhile, the Jets moved on from Sam Darnold and replaced him with No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson.
Watson is once again expected to be the center of trade rumors this offseason, and the Jets could be involved. Only not in the way that other teams might be involved.
How could the NY Jets be involved in a Deshaun Watson trade?
The Jets aren't going to trade for Deshaun Watson. While Wilson undoubtedly had his fair share of rookie struggles, there really isn't a scenario where the team moves on from him after just one season.
On top of that, Watson's legal situation makes it highly unlikely the Jets would consider acquiring him, even if they were in the market for a quarterback. It's not going to happen — but they could still play a role in the Texans moving him.
NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah recently proposed a scenario where the Jets (or Giants for that matter) could serve as the so-called "middle man" in a potential Watson trade.
The Jets would supply the necessary draft capital for a team lacking in draft picks in exchange for a proven player (or multiple proven players), all while giving that team enough picks to make a Watson trade feasible.
It's a scenario that makes plenty of sense and could benefit everyone involved. It isn't meaningless that this is Jeremiah speculating either.
Jeremiah is famously very close with Joe Douglas with their history dating back to the early 2000s when they worked together as scouts for the Baltimore Ravens.
Could this be Jeremiah acting as Douglas' mouthpiece, so to speak? It's certainly plausible. When Jeremiah says things about the Jets, it's wise to pay attention.
The Jets have more draft capital than any team in the NFL with two top-10 picks and four selections inside the top-40. For a team like the Indianapolis Colts that doesn't even have a first-round pick, using a team like the Jets as a "middle man" would pretty much be a necessity if they wanted to make a Watson trade happen.
The Jets aren't going to trade for Deshaun Watson — that much is a given. But it's certainly possible that they play a major role in the eventual transaction. Just something to keep an eye on.