This offseason will be all about quarterbacks for the NFL. With Philip Rivers and Drew Brees likely to retire, players like Dak Prescott, Cam Newton and Mitchell Trubisky in the free agent market and a myriad of other QBs likely on the move, the league may look very different come next September. But the storyline at the forefront of everyone’s mind is: Where should Texans QB Deshaun Watson end up? After having a career year that saw Houston end with a disappointing 4-12 record, many believe it’s time for Watson to take his talents elsewhere. But where? In today’s roundtable, The DC Sports Section will be making its picks regarding the best places for the young start to land. Let’s get into it:
Honestly, two thirds of the teams in the NFL should be trying to trade for Deshaun Watson. It is very rare for an elite quarterback who is just entering his prime at 25 years old and is locked up for the next five years to become available on the trade block. But that’s how dysfunctional and poorly run the Houston Texans organization is. So while there should be close to 25 teams at least looking to acquire Watson, there are only a few teams where the fit almost makes too much sense. One of those is the New England Patriots. There is no reason why Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick shouldn’t be throwing the house at Houston to get Watson. Now, QB isn’t the only issue for the Patriots as we saw last season, but it certainly is the biggest issue. If you could fill that gaping hole at QB with one of the top five most talented QBs in the league, wouldn’t you do it? The Patriots have the cap space to take on Watson, and then they could address their other needs in the draft, such as wide receiver and defensive line help. Watson would immediately make New England a competitor again, so it’s a no brainer for me.
For how awful the Houston Texans have been to Deshaun Watson, he certainly deserves a better team to play on and lead to a shot at Super Bowl glory. While there are many great suitors for this superstar quarterback, I see him as a great fit on the New York Jets. For the Jets, they own the 2nd pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL draft, which would be a great piece to trade to Houston. Watson would come into a now-attractive free agent destination team, allowing the Jets to make moves around Watson to make them a very feared team in the AFC. This trade makes sense for both New York and Houston as New York looks to finally start competing, while Houston will look to step back into a rebuild after trading two superstar players in Deandre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson.
Deshaun Watson is the most interesting man in the NFL right now. The Texans have agreed that three first round picks are required in order to obtain him, which seems like a lot, but it could be worse. The best team that could fit Watson is the Colts. Now there are a lot of options here, such as getting more talent for Watson, but Philip Rivers retired recently, and the Colts are going to be looking for a quarterback to take charge of an offense that features Jonathan Taylor and T. Y. Hilton. It might be slightly uncomfortable to see Watson on another AFC South team, but he could be a huge asset that could help the Colts get further than their early playoff exit this season. The Colts are looking for a franchise quarterback since Andrew Luck retired suddenly, and Watson could be that man leading the team to brighter horizons and possibly the Super Bowl in the future.
The forgotten wrinkle of the Deshaun Watson trade discussion is that Watson has to waive his no-trade clause in order to be traded, meaning he has to actually want to go to the team that gets him. So, the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes probably comes down to teams that are well-coached and ready to win now. Enter the San Francisco 49ers, who have everything a young stud like Watson could want: A great coach, a solid offensive line, plenty of weapons and a talent-loaded defense. They’re a year removed from going to the Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm. Add in the fact that they play in California (nice) and they’re one of the most storied franchises in the NFL (also nice) and there’s no reason Watson wouldn’t want to hop on board with Kyle Shanahan and Co. San Fran hasn’t had an elite quarterback since … you tell me. It’s time Shanahan got his guy.
While nobody knows for certain where Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson will end up, or if he will be traded at all, I believe the best place for him is the Miami Dolphins. Miami has plenty of desirable draft capital, including the No. 4 pick in this year’s draft, as well as a young and fully healthy Tua Tagovailoa with immense upside, allowing the Texans to finally commit to a full rebuild with their future star QB in Tua. For the Dolphins, head coach Brian Flores has turned this dumpster fire in the AFC East into a legitimate playoff contender, and all he is missing is a quality quarterback who is ready to win now. Watson fits this mold perfectly, showing top five QB play on a team built to fail around him. If he can carry the Texans to four wins, imagine the impact he would have on a Dolphins team already built to win.