DeShaun Watson is "extremely unhappy" with the Houston Texans after the franchise hired General Manager Nick Caserio this week. Texans owner Cal McNair previously informed Watson he would be involved in the process but Watson wasn't involved in the process and is deeply concerned by it. The 25-year-old is not unhappy with the hiring of Caserio, but from the fact that he was excluded from the process. And while DeShaun Watson hasn't formally requested a trade yet, things could certainly change in the coming days. Here's a look at potential destinations for the NFL's passing yards leader in 2020.
The DeShaun Watson trade will not be as straightforward as one can think of, but Carolina Panthers are one of the few teams who could get the job done with minimum fuss. The Panthers are likely to give veteran Teddy Bridgewater another shot under center next year but could save a whopping $13 million if they happen to find a trade partner for him. Carolina could offer Bridgewater, the 2021 No. 8 overall pick, a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 first-rounder for Watson. The trade would save Houston a bunch of cash, while also offer them a chance to rebuild much more quickly. As for the Panthers, they would likely become a contender with Watson joining DJ Moore and Christian McCaffrey in offense.
Just a reminder of Deshaun Watson's 2020 stats:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 8, 2021
▫️4,823 passing yards (best in NFL)
▫️33 passing TD (t-7th most)
▫️8.9 yards per attempt (best)
▫️70.2% completion % (3rd best)
▫️444 rushing yards, 3 rushing TD
▫️8 games with 2+ TD, 0 INT
He's 25 and signed through 2025.
The New England Patriots struggled in the absence of the departed Tom Brady, and if the Pats are unwilling to commit to a full rebuild via the draft, Watson could prove to be a key piece of trade business. A potential package could include 2019 fourth-round quarterback Jarrett Stidham, that 2021 No. 15 overall picks, a second-rounder in 2021 and another first-round selection in 2022. However, that might not be enough to lure Watson, and they might have to add a young corner like J.C. Jackson or Jonathan Jones. Considering their current options, that is a sacrifice worth making.
Jimmy Garoppolo has struggled for form and fitness of late and the San Francisco 49ers will look to move on from the quarterback and save a massive $23.4 million. Having missed out on the playoffs, the Niners are in a win-now mode and a trade for Deshaun Watson will certainly be an upgrade on their current roster. The 49ers could offer a one-year flier on Garoppolo, a No. 12 overall selection in this year's draft and a 2022 first-round pick. The Texans might also require at least another Day 2 pick in 2021 or 2022, and the 49ers wouldn't mind that if Watson can push them into Super Bowl contention.
The Denver Broncos have the No. 9 overall pick in the draft and should have enough cap space to easily afford DeShaun Watson in 2021. And with Drew Lock being the league's fourth-lowest-rated qualified passer in 2020, an incoming general manger could set eyes on Watson. The Broncos could easily offer Lock, the 2021 No. 9 overall pick, a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 first-rounder for Watson. The Texans could again save money and add a lot of draft capital and have a shot at Zach Wilson or Trey Lance in the draft. For Watson, he would likely jump at a chance to team up with Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant and a talented offensive line in Denver.