When the 2021 season rolls round, Deshaun Watson is in all chance going to be on a brand new staff. The Professional Bowl quarterback has formally requested a commerce from the Houston Texans after the connection between the 2 sides deteriorated over the previous couple of weeks and months. In fact, given Watson’s MVP-caliber expertise and being simply 25 years previous, he’ll be the most important offseason prize on the market and there will likely be a variety of groups calling up newly employed GM Nick Caserio to see what it will take to land Watson.
My colleague Cody Benjamin already highlighted all of the groups that might be interested by Watson, which is unsurprisingly practically half the league. What we will be diving into right here is which groups have the most effective arsenal of belongings that might really execute a deal of this magnitude. In accordance with CBS Sports activities NFL Insider Jonathan Jones, he’s of the idea — after talking with numerous sources across the NFL — that the compensation for Watson will equal at the least three first-round picks and sure a second or third.
Beneath, we’re highlighting and rating 5 groups which have the right elements that very effectively might end in Deshaun Watson main one among their franchises within the close to future. As we roll via these candidates, it is essential to notice that not all first-round picks are created equal. For instance, the New England Patriots, a membership very a lot available in the market for a quarterback, are a staff you’ll not discover on this record. Regardless of having the fourth-most quantity of cap house and the No. 15 total choose, there are merely higher packages on the market that might be made by franchises that knocks them out of the working. The identical could be mentioned for Indianapolis, who owns the twenty first choose within the 2021 draft and is trying so as to add a QB within the aftermath of Philip Rivers retiring.
These groups listed beneath, in my opinion, can formulate the best-of-the-best affords for Houston as they attempt to get Watson into the fold.
Key belongings: 2021 first-round choose (No. 9 total), 2022-24 first-round picks, QB Drew Lock, 2021 second-round, WR Tim Patrick, OLB Von Miller
Projected cap house (by way of Spotrac): $18,550,052 (Eleventh-highest within the NFL)
The headliner in a package deal created by the Broncos begins and ends with the No. 9 choose this 12 months. That places Houston proper within the candy spot to instantly land a quarterback prospect to exchange Watson because the face of the franchise going ahead. If the Texans need to tackle one other place of want with that No. 9 total choose, Denver might at all times throw in quarterback Drew Lock, particularly if Houston believes he might change into a viable starter. Not solely do the Broncos presently have a top-10 choose this 12 months, however in addition they personal their first-rounders via 2024. A mix of these picks, presumably Lock and different veteran items like receiver Tim Patrick and perhaps even go rusher Von Miller might be enticing to the Texans.
That mentioned, it does should be identified that Watson does personal a no-trade clause. Would he actually need to soar right into a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert? There might be simpler paths, regardless of becoming a member of a roster with receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy.
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Key belongings: 2021 first-round choose (No. 8 total), 2022-24 first-round picks, QB Teddy Bridgewater, RB Christian McCaffrey, 2021 second-round choose
Projected cap house (by way of Spotrac): $7,983,434 (Sixteenth-highest within the NFL)
A commerce with Carolina provides the Texans the chance to be aggressive within the rapid whereas additionally constructing in the direction of the longer term. Teddy Bridgewater is a perfect stopgap quarterback for Houston to start out in 2021 whereas they permit whomever they choose with the No. 8 total choose to develop. In the meantime, the Panthers personal all of their first-round picks within the foreseeable future and will use any mixture — coupled with the 2021 second-rounder — to place collectively a compelling supply. Including Christian McCaffrey to this deal would definitely seize headlines, however Carolina would additionally should be pleased with taking some fairly lofty dead-cap hits in the event that they moved him. It’s value it if that is what separates them from buying Watson? I might say so however the Panthers more than likely would need to pair Watson with a star like McCaffrey to create a deadly assault out of the backfield.
Watson’s connection to the Carolinas can be fairly obvious due to his illustrious tenure at Clemson. The quarterback may be intrigued with the opportunity of becoming a member of forces with head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who’re each considered as a number of the brightest up-and-coming offensive minds within the league.
Key belongings: 2021 first-round choose (No. 12 total), 2022-24 first-round picks, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 2021 second-round choose
Projected cap house (by way of Spotrac): $11,876,853 (Thirteenth-highest within the NFL)
When wholesome, San Francisco’s roster is customized to make a Tremendous Bowl run. The one space many have pegged Kyle Shanahan to presumably improve this offseason, nevertheless, is quarterback, which he might do by buying Watson. Regardless of having an inferior 2021 first-round choose to the Broncos and Panthers, the Texans might have a look at Jimmy Garoppolo as a greater possibility than Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater, and anybody else they may choose on the again finish of the top-10 picks within the draft. In spite of everything, Nick Caserio was on the Patriots workers when New England took Garopolo within the second spherical and helped groom him. If he nonetheless has that very same affinity for him, they may ship Watson to the Bay Space, have Garoppolo be the franchise quarterback going ahead, after which use the boatload of picks — together with No. 12 total — to construct a greater roster round him.
In the meantime, Watson probably would not complain about heading to a staff that has weapons like George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk. That is additionally not mentioning Watson pairing up with Kyle Shanahan, who is understood to be an offensive guru.
Key belongings: 2021 first-round picks (No. 3 and No. 18), QB Tua Tagovailoa, two 2021 second-round picks, 2022-24 first-round picks
Projected cap house (by way of Spotrac): $25,818,922 (eighth-highest within the NFL)
There’s a appreciable soar in belongings after we get into the highest two and you would make a case for both of those golf equipment to have the most effective total package deal. With the Dolphins, they’ve an excellent mix of younger expertise and picks that they may ship to Houston. They personal all of their first-round picks over the following handful of years and have great capital in 2021. Because of a previous commerce with the Texans revolving round offensive deal with Laremy Tunsil, the Dolphins personal the No. 3 total choose within the 2021 draft to go together with their very own first-rounder that sits at No. 18. Miami might ship each of these items to the Texans together with 2020 first-round quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. These three belongings alone could possibly get a deal executed as Houston would have a promising younger quarterback and two first-round picks to construct round him, together with what could also be the most effective non-QB prospect of the category at No. 3 total.
In the meantime, there are already studies that Watson might be open to becoming a member of the Dolphins. With Brian Flores’s staff already pushing for a playoff spot this previous season, including Watson might take them excessive as a real contender within the convention.
Key belongings: 2021 first-round picks (No. 2 total and No. 23 total), 2022-24 first-round picks, QB Sam Darnold, 2021 second-rounder
Projected cap house (by way of Spotrac): $65,062,454 (second-highest within the NFL)
That is reportedly Watson’s high vacation spot so that they get a little bit of a bump over the Dolphins for now as it could be simpler to truly get a deal executed. Actually, what separates them from an asset standpoint relies on how the Houston brass feels about Tua Tagovailoa. In the event that they see him as a franchise centerpiece, then shoot the Dolphins to the highest of this record. If they do not, they’re higher off putting a cope with the Jets, who personal the No. 2 total choose within the draft. There, the Texans can have their choose of the litter exterior of Trevor Lawerence, that means they will land Zack Wilson, Justin Fields, or whomever they dub to be the following franchise quarterback.
With the Jets additionally proudly owning the No. 23 choose and all of their future first-rounder via the 2024 season, there’s lots there to get a mega commerce executed.
Sam Darnold can be an intriguing commerce chip, however it appears fairly unlikely that the Texans would skip out on a younger prospect with the No. 2 choice and experience with Darnold, which might make him a non-factor in these talks.