Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will likely be residing elsewhere at the start of next season after recently requesting to be traded. Widely regarded as one of the premeir quarterbacks in the league, Watson has an impressive resume. A national champion at Clemson, three NFL Pro Bowl selections, and the NFL passing yards leader in 2020 all by the age of 25. Despite signing a $177.5 million extension with Houston back in September, Watson’s relationship with the Texans has dropped off dramatically due to the team’s poor performance this past season. He is one of the most talented and most accomplished players to hit the trade market in the last several years, so there will be plenty of teams calling Houston with offers for their former franchise player. Here’s a look at the five teams that should be vying for the pro bowl quarterback.
After passing up on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft in favor of Mitchell Trubisky, now possibly the biggest drafting blunder in recent memory, the Bears have the opportunity to make good on their past mistakes. If GM Ryan Pace can put together a package to secure the quarterback, Watson would be instantly embraced by the city of Chicago as their best quarterback in decades. He does have a no-trade clause as part of his recent extension, so who knows if Watson would want to play for an organization that so drastically undervalued him just four years ago.
New York Jets
After landing the second overall pick in the upcoming draft, and essentially missing out on one of the best quarterback prospects of all time in Trevor Lawrence, the Jets have a variety of routes to take. They could select a different QB with their pick, but the dropoff between Lawrence and his peers is quite large. If the Jets were able to send their pick (and several other assets) to Houston for Watson, New York would have a proven franchise quarterback to build around. They could also keep the second pick and select Heisman-winning receiver DeVonta Smith, but it remains uncertain if they trust current QB Sam Darnold to run their offense for another season.
Fans in Jacksonville were ecstatic when the team ended up with the first pick in this year’s draft as it gave the Jaguars the opportunity to select Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Despite his praise as the best QB prospect since at Andrew Luck, Lawrence still has yet to take an NFL snap. If the Jaguars decided to send their first pick, and essentially Trevor Lawrence, to Houston, they could receive a proven NFL star and fellow Clemson alum, Deshaun Watson. It’s uncertain if the Texans would be willing to send Watson to a divisional rival, but the idea of drafting Lawrence might be enough to make them do it.
Miami has the most to offer Houston for Watson, as they could send over this year’s third overall pick and budding quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. This would leave Houston in a great spot, as they would still have a quarterback to build around and the ability to select one of the three best prospects in the draft. The Dolphins are already a team on the rise, and the addition of Watson would make them immediate contenders.
New England Patriots
After missing the playoffs in their first year of the post-Brady era, the Patriots and Bill Belichick are hungry to return to elite status. Watson would be the perfect fit for this team as they desperately need a QB. With Cam Newton and New England likely parting ways, the Patriots should do whatever it takes to replace the former collegiate national champion with fellow national champion Deshaun Watson. He could be the Brady-successor for New England, allowing the Patriots to go another decade without searching for a quarterback.