The Houston Texans have refused to engage teams calling about Deshaun Watson this offseason. If a blockbuster trade happens, though, one team might be the overwhelming favorite to land the superstar quarterback.
Since the offseason began, Watson has made it emphatically clear that he no longer wants to play for the Texans. Even if it means sitting out the 2021 season, the 25-year-old’s distrust of the organization has fueled his trade demand. But the Texans have insisted that they will not trade Watson and the organization is determined to repair the relationship with its franchise quarterback.
That could prove to be more difficult than ever. Watson isn’t returning the team’s calls and the situation is seemingly getting worse after recent moves. Following the stunning release of JJ Watt, allowing the star defender to leave for nothing in return, there’s a possibility that even more change is coming to Houston. If that happens, one team might have the edge to land Watson.
NFL rumors: New York Jets likeliest landing spot for Deshaun Watson trade
The Houston Chronicle‘s John McClain was recently interviewed on SportsRadio610. The long-time Texans’ beat writer reaffirmed that the Texans are still refusing to trade Watson and are not actively calling any teams about a deal. If something were to happen, however, Watson would be traded to the New York Jets.
The Jets have been heavily connected to Watson this offseason. They are also one of the few teams capable of meeting Houston’s unprecedented asking price. While early speculation hinted at Sam Darnold returning in 2021, recent reports indicate that a trade of the former No. 3 overall pick is increasingly possible.
New York would provide Watson with a fresh start. When the Texans started their coaching search, Watson recommended Robert Saleh as a top candidate to interview. Houston never met with him and the Jets swooped in to hire him, arguably the best coaching hire this offseason.
The Jets have the draft capital to execute a trade, with the No. 2 and No. 23 overall selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. New York also owns two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, allowing the front office to trade three first-round selections for Watson. In our latest mock draft, New York landed the Pro Bowl quarterback and still had plenty of draft picks to surround him with talent.
Realistically, only the Miami Dolphins can compete with the Jets with a comparable offer. Miami could package the No. 3 and No. 18 overall selections, along with future picks, in a deal for Watson.
There will be other teams to monitor if the Texans start engaging in trade offers for Deshaun Watson. The San Francisco 49ers are an ideal fit and Watson has expressed interest in a particular AFC team. While Houston can stand its ground for now, Watson could eventually force their hand if he is willing to sit out games.