Top Five Trade Destinations For Deshaun Watson

On Thursday, reports surfaced that Houston Texans’ star quarterback is “extremely unhappy” with the franchise and owner Cal McNair. According to Ian Rapoport, McNair told Watson that he would be a part of the process for hiring the team’s next General Manager and Head Coach.

However, Watson was not involved in the process of hiring of new GM, Nick Caserio. Also, Bleacher Report recently reported that Watson wanted Chiefs Offensive Coordinator as the team’s next head coach, but he has yet to be interviewed for the job. With Watson’s growing frustration with the Texans, rumors are swirling around a potential demand for a trade. If the star quarterback were to demand a trade, here are five destinations for the disgruntled QB.

Chicago Bears

The Bears traded for Nick Foles this past offseason. He struggled, posting a 2-5 record as a starter, and only threw for 10 touchdowns while throwing eight interceptions. Mitchell Trubisky has made a case for himself to get a new contract, going 6-3 as a starter this year and leading them to the playoffs.

However, adding Watson could put the Bears near Super Bowl contention. Watson is one of the young stars at the quarterback position and is coming off a career season, setting career-highs in passing yards and touchdown passes. He also led the league in passing yards.

The Bears are not scared to make a blockbuster deal as they traded away two first-round picks for Khalil Mack. The Bears defense is amongst the best in the NFL. The decision comes down to whether the Bears want to give Trubisky a new contract. If they decide not to, they could make a run at Watson and pair him with Allen Robinson, who is one of the top receivers in the league.

The Bears’ offense is the problem for a lack of success. By adding Watson, they could out themselves amongst the top of the league and make a run at the Lombardi. Can the Bears make up for losing him in the 2017 NFL Draft by trading for Watson?

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are in QB limbo. They have had success with Jimmy Garoppolo under center, including a Super Bowl appearance. However, the organization has not committed to him long term. Deshaun Watson could be the answer.

The Niners’ offense has weapons that would fuel Watson’s game with All-Pro tight end George Kittle and young receivers in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Kyle Shanahan is one of the best play-callers in the NFL as well. Watson could have another career season with the arsenal in The Bay.

If the 49ers were to release Jimmy G this offseason, they would save $24 million. That money could be used to add Watson and even address other areas that need upgrades.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints would be a great fit for Watson. Reports are circling that franchise quarterback Drew Brees will retire following this season. If that were to happen, they should attempt to add Watson.

Watson would excel with the receiving core of Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jared Cook (if he returns). Don’t forget about star running back, Alvin Kamara. One-off the best offenses in the entire NFL would get even better by adding a young, talented signal-caller in Watson.

The only thing against the Saints’ ability to add Watson is the salary cap as they are projected to be $95 million over the cap this offseason, which could make an acquisition not possible.

Taysom Hill did go undefeated as a starter but did not prove to be extremely efficient throwing the ball. Also, adding Watson makes the Saints more dangerous, without a doubt, and it would be a no-brainer to add him.

Washington Football Team

The Football team is in the playoffs, but with a 7-9 record and coming from the horrible NFC East. Alex Smith has done a good job as a starter, winning five of his six starts this season. However, Smith is not the answer long term with his injury and could retire in the next couple of seasons.

Washington won’t be in a great spot to draft a quarterback after making the playoffs, so making a blockbuster move to add Watson would be the best option. They made a big move by trading for Smith three years ago and they have had success with him under center. Trading for Watson sets them up for potentially the next decade.

Washington has a terrific defense, showcased by Chase Young and the offense has young talent with running back Antonio Gibson and wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Ron Rivera is also a great coach, who has had lots of success over his career.

Indianapolis Colts

Even though it is extremely unlikely for Watson to be dealt with a division rival, this would be a terrific fit. Phillip Rivers is on a one year deal and could retire after this season, opening up the starting QB spot for Frank Reich and Co.

The Colts have one of the league’s best offensive lines, while Watson has dealt with one of the worst in each of his first four seasons. They have a lot of talent on offense that pairs with one of the best defenses in the league.

The Colts are sort up to succeed outside of the quarterback position right now. Adding Watson fills that hole and makes them a top contender in the AFC and for the Lombardi. He would complete the team and make their offense dangerous. As I said, this is extremely unlikely, but I added the Colts to this list as the fit is near perfect.

Watson’s Contract

Watson signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension in September, making him the second-highest-paid quarterbacking the NFL behind Patrick Mahomes, at an average of $39 million per year. If the Texans were to trade Watson, they would still be on the hook for $21.6 million in 2021. Watson’s current cap hit is $16 million, but trading him would add $5.6 million to his cap hit. However, beyond 2021 would open up tons of cap space.

For a team wanting to trade for Watson, he would count just $10.54 million against their salary cap in 2021. That number would significantly rise in 2022 ($40M) and 2023 ($42M) before declining in 2024 ($37M) and 2025 ($32M). Additionally, Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he has the power to veto a trade to a team that isn’t in his best interest. Of course, if Watson decides that he wants to be traded, then a deal could still be completed.

The Texans do not look like they are near contention and Watson has over a decade left in his career. Watson is a top-five quarterback in the NFL and can truly showcase his talent, get into the MVP conversation, and contend for the Lombardi with a change of scenery.