It looks like Deshaun Watson wants the Houston Texans to trade him to an AFC East team, either the New York Jets or the Miami Dolphins, according to a report from the Miami Herald. Yes, those same LOL Jets are at the top of Watson’s list.
Watson, 25, is a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback who led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards this season. In his fourth season as a pro, Watson also tossed a career-high 33 touchdowns and career-low seven interceptions.
Only a couple of days after the Jets officially announced new head coach Robert Saleh, the top passer in the league put Gang Green at the top of his trade list.
“Deshaun Watson, unhappy with his situation with the Houston Texans, apparently has a ranking for which new team he’d like to play,” wrote Armando Salguero. “He prefers to play for the New York Jets. And, second, he’d like to play for the Miami Dolphins. In that order.”
The Jets hoped they could be in consideration for Watson’s elite quarterbacking services, but to be put at the top of the list provides one heck of an opportunity.
The Jets held the #6 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but selected safety Jamal Adams instead of Watson. The Houston Texans picked Watson with the #12 pick in the draft.
The New York Jets are Deshaun Watson’s preferred trade destination, per @ArmandoSalguero pic.twitter.com/7aCGPrza2r
— PFF (@PFF) January 23, 2021
The Joe Douglas QB Decision Tree
The Jets hold the #2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, in addition to the #21 overall pick (acquired from the Seattle Seahawks in the Jamal Adams trade). Now that Watson indicated his preference to play with the Jets, the team has four potential options with the quarterback position, which include moving on from Sam Darnold.
1) Stick with Sam Darnold and use draft picks to bolster the offensive line
2) Select a collegiate QB, either Justin Fields or Zack Wilson with the #2 pick
3) Acquire Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans
4) Acquire Matt Stafford in a trade with the Detroit Lions
The Jets recently restructured their organization. In the past, both the head coach and the general manager reported independently to ownership. Most NFL teams are structured where the head coach reports directly to the general manager, but the Jets are an unorthodox team, to say the least. New head coach Saleh reports directly to GM Joe Douglas, who in return, reports to owner Woody Johnson and CEO Chris Johnson.
Watson Long Shots: Pittsburgh and San Francisco
Last week’s big trade rumor involved the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers would save money if they cut Ben Roethlisberger and then pulled the trigger on a Watson trade.
The NFL salary cap will be reduced from $220 million to $180 million, due to a severe drop in league revenue because of the pandemic. Teams will have to be ruthless or come up with creative ways in order to retain dead weight.
The Steelers could save $19 million in salary if they cut Big Ben, but they’d still be on the hook for $22.25 million in dead-cap space. Including salary and signing bonus, Watson has a 2021 cap hit slightly under $16 million.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has two years remaining on his contract. The Niners incur a $26.2 million cap hit in 2021 and a $27 million hit in 2022. Under the reduced salary cap, Jimmy’s salary accounts for 15% of the total cap space. If they trade or cut him, the Niners only take a cap hit worth $3 million.
The Niners should trade Jimmy G, but which team will want a guy who missed 10 or more games in three out of the last four seasons? Jimmy G appeared in six games this season. Since 2017, he’s missed 33 games to various injuries, including a blown-out ACL and severe ankle sprains.
Fins aren’t going to pull that trigger for that cost. I do love Deshaun.