We’re still in the midst of the NFL playoffs as two championship games are set to get underway. However, that has not prevented some serious trade rumors from swirling. The most significant of those is Deshaun Watson. Watson, 25, has reportedly been unhappy with the Houston Texans and seems to want out.
Deshaun Watson Reportedly Wants Out
This is all began when Watson was not brought into the room during the head coaching interviews. Watson reportedly had Robert Saleh, the previous 49er’s defensive coordinator, at the top of his list. Robert Saleh has instead been hired by the NY Jets, which begs a huge question. Should the Jets go after Deshaun Watson? I think the answer to this would be yes if they could get it done, but there are many factors at play.
Those include the cost and whether Watson actually wants to come to NY. There were mixed signals yesterday when two contradicting reports came out saying the Jets were his #1 destination and weren’t. On the other hand, there have been several other signs linking the two. Most notably include players such as Richard Sherman and Brandon Marshall pleading for Watson to head to NY. The Jets also likely have the best possible offer that could be made to the Texans for Watson. They have 19 picks over the next two years, including four first-round picks. The consensus around the league is that it will take at least three of those first-round picks to get a deal done. If there’s any team who can afford to do so, it’s the Jets due to all the draft capital they have.
Why The Jets Should Pursue Watson
However, the decision is not a complete slam-dunk decision in that the Jets are not one quarterback away. They are still looking to sure up their offensive line, defense, and add some real threats on offense. However, when an opportunity presents itself to acquire a franchise quarterback at such a young age of 25, you do anything in your power to do so. Especially since the Jets have been looking for that exact thing for over 50 years. The last stable, franchise quarterback that the Jets had was Joe Namath. Namath led the team to its only Super Bowl and they have been unable to return. This would be an enormous opportunity for the Jets and if they find a way to achieve this, it will be the best trade acquisition in team history.
One thing that could work well in the Jets’ favor is if Watson requests a trade. As of now, he has not done so, but if he makes it ever so clear that he wants out, he may very well do so. He could also use his no-trade clause to request a trade to the Jets. This would be a monumental decision and franchise-changer for the Jets. Following Watson could be a slew of talent on both offense and defense, as the team currently has the third-most cap space available before cuts. Once cuts have been made, it’s possible the Jets can get up to $90 million in cap space, more than enough to incorporate Watson’s $39 million annual salary and then some.
For instance, free-agent receiver Allen Robinson is an intriguing option and likely top target for the Jets. Robinson has liked several posts on Twitter related to the Jets, including the hire of Robert Saleh as well as posts luring Watson to NY. There are other options as well that the Jets can pursue. If the team were to acquire Watson, they would become a very desirable spot in free agency. The Jets have never been in such a spot in their history and such a move would change the trajectory of the franchise.
Potential Alternatives To Not Acquiring Watson
The other side to acquiring Watson is that the cost would be too high for a rebuilding club. On the other hand, the Texans may be left with no choice but to trade Watson if he 1) requests a trade and 2) refuses to play for the team until he’s traded. Watson could make this whole process go very quickly if he truly does want to be in NY. Of course, the Jets have to put up a respectable offer. Given the Jets’ enormous draft capital over the next two years, that shouldn’t be an issue.
A potential trade could revolve around the #2 pick this, the Seahawks pick this, the Jets 1st-round pick next year, a 2nd-round pick in either of the next years, and Sam Darnold. This could evidently be the starting point or it could end up being less than that. Only time will tell, but at this current juncture, the Jets should do everything in their power to acquire Watson. He will end up being a franchise-changing move and franchise quarterback the Jets have been waiting for.
The Jets could, of course, bypass the opportunity and hypothetically pick their future quarterback in the draft whether it be Justin Fields or Zach Wilson. They could also even keep Sam Darnold and trade down from the 2nd spot to acquire more capital. The Jets, evidently, have a lot of needs to fill and some argue it wouldn’t be smart to trade what it would cost to acquire Watson. But, the cost may evidently be lower than the original asking price depending on whether or not Watson pushes a trade on his end.
Verdict: Jets Should Get Their Man
Therefore, the Jets must not let this opportunity abide. They must go and do whatever it takes. Bring Deshaun Watson and then some. A new era is beginning in NY. Woody Johnson is returning from overseas and would love to make a splash. Watson would be the perfect quarterback to lead this new era of Jets football. It would be the greatest acquisition in franchise history to date. Get on the phone right now, Joe Douglas, and make some calls. Watson is definitely worth trading for!