Deshaun Watson would need to approve of a trade to another team. If the Jets made a move, he reportedly wouldn’t decline.
Will Deshaun Watson remain in Houston for the 2021 season? Will Deshaun Watson ultimately find himself as part of a trade to another team?
While the Texans prefer the former scenario, the 25-year-old superstar quarterback certainly longs for the latter, and there are a number of potential suitors.
Watson will be worth an absurd haul — likely a trio of first-round picks at the very least. However, a no-trade clause is present in his contract. This means if a deal is made, Watson would need to approve of it, regardless of the team on the other end.
That shouldn’t be an issue if the Jets were to come to terms with Houston though. According to a source in connection with SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Watson would approve of a trade to Florham Park due to his “affection for new Jets coach Robert Saleh,” as Vacchiano writes.
The Jets reportedly aren’t at the top of Watson’s list, but given the fallout in Houston, that “list” may eventually become obsolete.
“Really, though, the top of his list might be, ‘Anywhere but Houston,'” the source said, per Vacchiano. “If he really wants out, why would he say, ‘No,’ to any trade?”
The source may end up being correct. Watson doesn’t seem to want anything to do with the organization that selected him in the 2017 draft’s opening round, to the point where he may end up agreeing to a trade no matter what team makes the move to acquire him.
It makes sense Watson would want to play for Saleh. He may be a defensive-minded head coach who was previously the defensive boss out in San Francisco, but he’s a well-respected individual in this league who players will seemingly play hard for regardless of the team he’s leading.
Watson would likely enjoy playing under newly hired Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur as well. LaFleur previously served as the 49ers passing game coordinator and helped run a San Francisco passing attack that was successful despite dealing with inconsistent and/or untalented quarterbacks.
Of course, the Jets will potentially need to give up a significant amount. The general feeling, at least initially, was that offering three first-round picks and Sam Darnold could do it. However, that assumption might’ve potentially changed amid the recent Matthew Stafford trade.
This past weekend, the Lions dealt the longtime starting quarterback to the Rams for two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Jared Goff. Sure, you could say Detroit received one of those first-round picks due to the fact it was taking on Goff’s expensive contract ($134 million deal with cap hits of $25 million or more each of the next four years). However, the Texans could still use the blockbuster deal as leverage.
Houston could arrive at the (virtual) negotiating table and introduce how a 32-year-old Stafford went for that type of haul along with how the Texans don’t want to trade Watson anyway. This may force teams to up their respective offers for the superstar quarterback, which, in turn, would make a possible trade that much more difficult for the Jets, Miami, or whoever is willing to give up assets for a new face of the franchise.