In what has been the absolutely worst kept secret, Deshaun Watson and the Texans appear to be done as the Pro Bowl QB has officially requested a trade. I mean what did the Texans expect? They continuously bungled personnel and front office decisions and then tell their best player they’ll include him in decisions such as the hiring of the next GM. And then they hire Nick Caserio, who despite the past interest between both sides is someone who wasn’t actually on the list of the candidates their highly publicized search committee put together. Even worse, the move came at the behest of Petyr Baelish AKA Jack Easterby himself. I wrote about how bad things had gotten with Easterby in the fold last month and then Sports Illustrated wrote their second hit piece in just over a month absolutely demolishing the guy. Then the team tells Watson they’ll include him in the process of hiring the next head coach. And they completely ignore Watson’s request to interview Chiefs innovative Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy, only interviewing him after it came out how pissed the QB was. A terrible look. So last night the Texans hire 65-year-old David Culley who’s never been an Offensive Coordinator in the NFL. Then this morning Schefty was promptly announcing Watson’s trade request to make it all official.
Deshaun Watson at this point:
So Watson is going to get traded it’s just a matter of where and how much will it cost. Trading for a 3x Pro Bowl QB who is coming off an MVP caliber season and is still just 25-years-old is going to get EXPENSIVE.
But would you rather the Patriots try and find their next QB in the draft? With the departure of Caserio, who was Belichick’s right hand man in football ops and scouting for the last several years, I am even less confident in the Patriots finding elite talent. Now in the next breath it must be addressed that Caserio did in fact go to run the show in Houston where he is seemingly going to have to trade the best QB in franchise history as his first move. So does that familiarity between the two sides work in their favor or does it immediately kneecap the Patriots’ chances because Caserio doesn’t want to look like he’s doing his old boss a favor?
Another aspect to consider is Watson has a full no-trade clause, which is pretty rare in the NFL, so it will require not only making the trade but convincing the player too. This ain’t three years ago. New England isn’t exactly an enticing place for a player to join these days. With no tight ends to speak of and a receiver core that ranges from undrafted overachiever to first round bust, why would Deshaun want to come here? It’s basically the same situation he’s currently in.
Except the coach and the owner.
That’s their only shot. After years in the clown show that is Houston, he could come in and play for the best coach in the history of the game. Maybe, as was mentioned in that same SI article, Watson really, genuinely longs for a winning culture like he had back in Clemson. Well if that’s true, there is no better place than New England. Just a couple of years removed from their last Super Bowl win and actively looking for the next young guy to take the mantle of the most successful team in NFL history, with a Hall of Fame coach, and a well respected and beloved owner. That could be enticing to Deshaun Watson.
Now of course this all assumes the Jets, the Dolphins, or even the Jaguars don’t value Watson as much as I do and bow out of throwing a bunch of first rounders at Houston. Because the offers those teams can make would blow the Pats out of the water. Granted the Patriots are sitting at No. 15 and are unlikely to have any (according to draft “experts”) elite franchise QBs fall to them so I’m more than willing to trade that pick. But if you’re the Patriots you just got punched in the head with the reminder that if you don’t have an elite QB you are cooked right out of the gate. After 20 years of consistent play from a first ballot Hall of Famer under center it’s easy to forget that not every team has been so fortunate. So if you’re Belichick you should be calling the Texans right now telling them pick what you want and send over the paper work. Whether that’s 3 or even 4 first rounders I’m doing that 100% of the time. A franchise QB is just that valuable and yes the Pats need to fill some holes around the player, but thats something you worry about after bringing him in. With a ton of cap space to work with they could find a Tight End and a Receiver to fill things out alongside Watson pretty quick.
Realistically there’s not really any chance of landing Deshaun Watson so I’m just kind of daydreaming right now, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’d trade everything but the kitchen sink for him. Hell, throw that in there too.