There’s no telling whether Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will be dealt ahead of the November NFL trade deadline.
What we do know is that the Pro Bowl quarterback requested a trade early this past offseason, only to ultimately face allegations of sexual assault and/or misconduct from north of 20 women.
A recent report from Fox Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer notes that the Texans are softening their stance on compensation in a potential Watson trade after he was inactive for the first three weeks of the season. It’s in this that a deal could get done within the next month or so. If so, here’s a look at five ideal Deshaun Watson trade scenarios.
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Deshaun Watson trade to the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Steelers get: Deshaun Watson
- Texans get: 2022 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 first-round pick, Minkah Fitzpatrick
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has struggled even attempting to find an eventual heir-apparent to future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger. Now that the 39-year-old quarterback has hit that proverbial wall and is likely in the midst of his final NFL season, pressure is the name of the game in the Steel City. A franchise-altering move might need to be in the cards for the Steelers to remain at least somewhat relevant in the AFC.
That’s where this huge bounty comes into play. Pittsburgh exhausts its first-round picks each of the next three years as well as stud safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in a trade for Watson. In turn, Houston could either build its defense around Fitzpatrick or flip him for more draft assets. It almost makes too much sense for both teams.
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Deshaun Watson trade to the New Orleans Saints
- Saints get: Deshaun Watson
- Texans get: Michael Thomas, Marcus Williams, 2022 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick
Jameis Winston has been on and off through his first three starts as a member of the Saints. He threw five touchdowns in the season opener before struggling Week 2 in a loss to the Carolina Panthers. While Winston was more efficient in last week’s win over the Patriots, there’s major issues here.
Everyone knows that Sean Payton wants to find that eventual long-term replacement for Drew Brees. Obviously, Watson would be that.
As for Houston, it adds a record-breaking wide receiver in Michael Thomas as well as a Pro Bowl-caliber defensive back with Marcus Williams. Acquiring two future first-round picks while potentially relying on rookie Davis Mills under center could make sense. If Mills does not pan out, Houston could use the 2022 NFL Draft to find another quarterback.
Deshaun Watson trade to the Philadelphia Eagles
- Eagles get: Deshaun Watson
- Texans get: Jalen Hurts, Lane Johnson, two first-round picks in 2022
By now it’s well known that Philadelphia’s brass continues to kick the tires on adding Watson to the mix. It’s interesting to look at given that general manager Howie Roseman exhausted a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Jalen Hurts. Unfortunately, some struggles on the part of Hurts over the first three games has placed into question his status as the face of the franchise in Philadelphia.
As for potential compensation heading back to Houston this hypothetical deal, it would have to include the aforementioned Hurts. No objective person believes that Davis Mills is a better long-term option than him. Add in star right tackle Lane Johnson and two first-round picks next April, and this would be a pretty big haul for Houston.
Deshaun Watson trade to the Miami Dolphins
- Dolphins get: Deshaun Watson
- Texans get: Tua Tagovailoa, Xavien Howard, 2022 first-round pick, two first-round picks in 2023
Yet another team with a young signal caller who has been linked to Watson, Miami also has assets to pull off a trade of this ilk. That includes multiple first-round selections in the 2023 NFL Draft stemming from the blockbuster spring-time trade with the San Francisco 49ers. In reality, Tua, Howard and three first-round picks would get this done.
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Whether the Fins believe that Watson is worth that type of bounty remains to be seen. What we do know is that Tua Tagovailoa has struggled with both injuries and inconsistency throughout his young career. If Miami wants to return to relevance in the AFC East, it will have to upgrade from the 2020 first-round pick. That’s pretty clear right now.
Deshaun Watson trade to the New York Giants
- Giants get: Deshaun Watson
- Texans get: Daniel Jones, two 2022 first-round picks, 2023 second-round pick
At this point, it’s hard to imagine the Giants’ brass having faith that the struggling Daniel Jones is going to be the long-term answer under center. He’s thrown two touchdowns in three games this season — all losses. Over the course of his past 17 starts, Jones has thrown a mere 13 touchdowns. That’s not going to cut it in today’s NFL. With the decision on his fifth-year option looming, look for the Giants to check in on other possibilities.
There’s also good news for New York on this front. By virtue of enabling Chicago to move up to the 11th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft for Justin Fields, the Giants have an additional first-round pick in 2022. It’s going to be extremely valuable. Add in its own first-round pick (likely top 10), and that’s a nice haul for Houston. Perhaps, the Texans also take a chance to see if a change of scenery can help Jones. Another scenario here would be picking up Saquon Barkley in lieu of the struggling signal caller.