Deshaun Watson, Texans, trade
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans struck gold in the 2017 NFL Draft by landing Deshaun Watson. Now, thanks to a series of baffling moves in recent years by Bill O’Brien, it might be in everyone’s best interest if the Texans trade Deshaun Watson.

There are plenty of moves that O’Brien made, both as general manager and head coach, that have left many to question his thinking. It’s not just fans that have blasted him for the Brandin Cooks and DeAndre Hopkins deals either. Executives from around the league routinely take shots at the joke that is O’Brien’s decisions.

This is a team without first-round picks over the next two seasons, limited cap space, a cast of receivers that do the same thing and a lack of direction. It’s everything that Deshaun Watson would want to avoid in the best interests of his career. Given his cryptic tweets on social media, the 2022 free agent could eventually get tired of Houston.

It’s rare to see a team trade its young, franchise quarterback that routinely demonstrates MVP-caliber ability. Given the situation O’Brien has put the Texans in, though, moving Watson could become a reality.

We’ve seen the Texans choose O’Brien over stars before with Duane Brown, Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins the greatest examples. If push comes to shove between O’Brien and his star quarterback, these are three trades the team should consider to trade Deshaun Watson.

Miami Dolphins

No other NFL team boasts a war chest of draft picks like the Miami Dolphins. This is an organization with 14 selections in the 2020 NFL Draft, including three first-round picks. Miami also owns two first-round picks and two second-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, a result of the thievery they committed in their last trade with the Texans.

  • The Dolphins invested heavily on defense this offseason, building a unit that head coach Brian Flores can count on for years to come.
  • Miami is desperate for a new face of the franchise and while the likes of Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa are intriguing, they don’t compare to the impact Watson would make on this team.

The Dolphins have the pieces to make the Texans seriously consider moving Watson and completely retooling their roster. It would take an outstanding return to even get Houston to answer the phone, but our offer could be the one to make something happen.

In exchange for Watson, the Texans receive enough draft picks to significantly retool their roster and build around another quarterback on a rookie deal

  • 1.05 – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama – While there are obvious medical concerns with Taogvailoa, he could become a franchise-caliber quarterback for the Texans. If he lives up to his potential, Houston could have a Pro Bowl quarterback on a rookie deal.
  • 1.26Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor – Houston needs to find receivers with different skills. Mims is an elite talent that frequently displayed the ability to make tough catches and he excelled with snagging throws near the sideline. It wouldn’t take long for him to become their top receiver.
  • 2.39Ross Blalock, DT, TCU – Losing D.J. Reader was a blow for Houston’s defensive line and it needs to find his replacement. Blalock is an outstanding athlete for his position and could develop into a force on the interior defensive line.
  • 2021 1st and 2nd (HOU) – The Texans get back their top picks from 2021, giving them a chance to retool next season.

This is certainly a move that asks O’Brien to go along with his team taking a step back in 2020. However, it allows him to address multiple needs, strengthen his defense and bring back the early picks he gave away last offseason.

As for the Dolphins, the rationale is obvious. Watson is already an elite quarterback and he makes this team an instant contender for the AFC East. Of course, Miami would still have the No. 18 overall pick and two top-75 picks to further upgrade its offense.

Minnesota Vikings

If the Texans are open to trading Watson and O’Brien wants to compete immediately, a trade with the Vikings makes sense. As we discussed in detail on the latest NFL Reckless Speculation podcast, the Vikings have the draft picks and quarterback to send Houston’s way. While the offer might be very different than people are used to, it could be beneficial for both teams.

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Los Angeles Chargers

This might be our favorite fit for a potential trade. Miami can offer all the draft picks Houston desires and the Vikings can provide them with veteran talent. The Chargers, though, have the resources to push all their chips in with Watson and give O’Brien a trade package that is too hard to deny.

As we explained in the opening of the podcast, the offer from the Chargers fits everything the Texans need. A top pick to draft an elite prospect, future draft assets and a young, All-Pro talent at an area of need.

If any team is going to pull off a blockbuster deal for Deshaun Watson, the Chargers might be the team that can make it happen.