Deshaun Watson reportedly wants out of Houston, and he might not be terribly picky about his next step.
Watson effectively holds all the cards in his current situation. The star quarterback theoretically could sit out until his reported trade desire is fulfilled. Furthermore, the no-trade clause in Watson’s current contract allows the 25-year-old to have final say on any negotiations the Texans might have.
Three teams that have been frequently linked to Watson over the past month-plus apparently don’t have to worry about receiving the green light from the three-time Pro Bowl selection. ESPNUpstate on Monday reported Watson would approve trades to the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers.
The Jets and the Dolphins arguably are the two franchises best-suited to swing a trade for Watson. New York and Miami both own a top-three pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, in addition to other appealing draft capital. The Jets and Fins also each could send a young quarterback with high upside to Houston as a potential backfill for Watson.
But don’t count out the Panthers in the Watson sweepstakes, should they open up. Carolina reportedly is willing to do “whatever it takes” to acquire Watson, even including all-world running back Christian McCaffrey in a trade package. The Teddy Bridgewater experiment in Charlotte doesn’t appear to be a promising one, which might make the Panthers more motivated than the Jets and Dolphins to trade for Watson.
Of course, the Texans first must make Watson available before teams can start putting together trade packages. This process apparently has not yet begun, as Houston reportedly isn’t even listening to what organizations interested in Watson have to say.
But as we inch closer to the draft in late April, the Texans soon might realize they have no other choice but to shop Watson, who undoubtedly would yield a significant return.