After weeks of a speculated split, the starting Quarterback for the Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson has demanded a trade away from the dwindling football franchise. Watson, 25, led the entire NFL in passing yards this season with 4823 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, all three stats are career bests for Watson. This head-turning season happened immediately after the Houston Texans traded away Watson's best receiving option and good friend DeAndre Hopkins with a 4th round pick for HB David Johnson and a 2nd round pick just a year ago.
Watson just signed an almost record-breaking deal with the Texans last offseason for 4 years and $156 milllion that made him the holder of the second richest average, annual salary in NFL history of $39 million a year. Meaning any team that pursues Watson's employment will have to have ample salary cap-room. Even though Watson makes close to $40 million a year he is what economists call a lucrative investment, it's a lot of money, it's a huge splash that will cause attention to follow and it will be totally worth it.
In current times, if a QB hits the market and is top-10 or sometimes top-15 at his position he'll get paid north of $30 million a year, take for example Kirk Cousins 2yr-$66 million contract or Carson Wentz's 4yr- $128 million contract. With Watson's latest season as proof, Deshaun Watson is a fringe top-5 QB in the NFL, a hierarchy that has been implausible to crack over the last couple years with names like Mahomes, Wilson, Rodgers and Brady. Watson checks off all of the metaphorical boxes. He's a leader in the locker room, he has a great arm, his ability to scramble is quite possibly top-3 and his ability to deal with disfunction should signal to any team that he would fit perfectly with their scheme no matter where he goes.
The Houston Texans are no strangers to trading premier talent having just traded star WR DeAndre Hopkins last season. The Texans traded Hopkins for two reasons; make cap-room to sign Watson, (That's ironic) and because Hopkins demanded it. Lets hope for the sake of every staff member on the Texans that they get proper value for a trade this time around involving a top-5 QB in the league. Current rumors have Watson's value at 2-first round picks and then some, similar to the trade capitol the Texans gave up last season to the Miami Dolphins when they traded for T Laremy Tunsil. A solid investment to protect Watson, (Again the irony!) the team gave the dolphins a 2020 first rounder, 2021 first rounder, a 2021 second rounder and several role players.
Speaking of the Miami Dolphins, the team is one of the biggest contenders to trade for Watson. This of course would see a QB swap involving rookie-turned-one year veteran Tua Tagovailoa and probably a first rounder and another second round pick along with some youth at positions of need for the Texans, (WR, OL, CB and DL).
The biggest contenders (in order) to trade for Watson are in my opinion as follows:
New England Patriots - Belichick is to smart not to inquire about Watson.
New York Jets - Massive trade capitol; After losing #1 pick could look to lock down a QB at any price.
Detroit Lions - Could use Matt Stafford as swap
Washington Football Team - Good trade capitol and may only be a QB away from deep playoff run
Miami Dolphins - Have already had discussions with Houston surrounding Tua
Indianapolis Colts - QB away from playoff run and with Rivers retiring. Interdivisional trade means trade would cost the Colts more than any other team.