While we all know the NFL is a business, what happens when that business irks your young, star Quarterback? The Houston Texans are starting to find out the hard way. Their mismanagement seems to have fractured the relationship between the team and Watson. Since his dissatisfaction with the team has become public knowledge, Watson has been the speculation of many trade rumors over the past month or so.
If a trade such as this were to actually occur, it would truly be one of the biggest blockbuster deals in NFL History. Not often do you find a young, developing star QB on the trade block and when you do, you have to almost mortgage the future to get him. So what teams would possibly be in the race for Watson? The Chicago Bears, for one, are part of a group of teams with the best odds of landing Watson according to BetMGM. Other teams with high odds to land him include the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots.
Who will Deshaun Watson play for next year?
— Yahoo Sportsbook (@YahooSportsbook) January 19, 2021
Obviously, every team on this list has a serious problem at the QB position, otherwise, they wouldn’t even think about giving up what they would have to in order to land Watson. Let’s analyze each team on this list and their likeliness of landing the star QB, starting with the Bears.
Chicago Bears +800 Odds To Land Watson
For the Bears, this would essentially be making right on a terrible mistake made by general manager Ryan Pace back in the 2017 NFL Draft, when they selected Mitchell Trubisky at #2 overall over Watson. The only way the Bears have any hope of making a deal happen would be to trade pass-rusher Khalil Mack and a pair of first-round picks to the Texans in exchange for Watson and probably some late-round pick. Of course, Watson would have to agree to the trade, and that’s not a certainty. He might still hold a grudge over the Bears for picking Trubisky ahead of him. If a deal did go through, the Bears would get their franchise QB they have been waiting a century for and the Texans would have the most dominant defensive line in the league with Mack and JJ Watt. They are still a long shot to land Watson, but there seems to be hope around the sportsbooks for the Bears. Their odds have been increasing each week, going from +1000 last week to now +800. You could classify them as the “sleeper” team to land Watson, and a team to watch.
The Dolphins are an odds-on favorite to land Watson right now according to oddsmakers and for good reason. As mentioned earlier, Watson has a no-trade clause, but the Dolphins are reportedly one of the teams that he would consider waiving it for. Miami has their own young QB that they can offer Houston in return named Tua Tagovailoa. The Texans can also get back that 2021 first-round pick (3rd overall) that they dealt to Miami in the Laremy Tunsil trade in 2019. If the Texans are looking to put the Bill O’Brian years behind them and rebuild, the Dolphins may offer the quickest path to do so.
New York Jets +400
The Jets are co-favorites right now with the Dolphins because they may have just as much to offer. They have the 2nd overall pick in the upcoming draft, and a young former 1st-round QB of their own to offer Houston in Sam Darnold. New York also has the 23rd overall pick in the upcoming draft and a ridiculously large amount of cap space, to the tune of $70 million. The Jets seem to be ready to give up on Sam Darnold while the Dolphins are at least hesitant to get rid of Tua. If Watson gets dealt, this is his most likely landing spot in this writer’s opinion.
New England Patriots +1000
The Patriots are in the market for a QB for the first time in, well, a year. The Cam Newton experiment didn’t pan out for Bill Belichick and the Pats, and the first step to fixing their QB situation could be to trade for Watson. They have an enormous amount of draft picks in the upcoming draft to offer Houston, but they don’t have a first-round pick until 15th overall. They would have to get really creative with picks to be able to swing a deal for Watson. They have the cap space necessary to get him, and new Texans general manager Nick Caserio knows Belichick on a personal level, having worked with him for years in New England. The Patriots will be players for Watson at any rate, and you never know with them. They pull off miracles.
To be perfectly clear, Watson has not officially asked for a trade from Houston. It should be taken into consideration that he returns to the Texans, and it’s actually the most likely thing to happen at +100. The Texans recently interviewed Kansas City Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy, which is who Watson was pushing for the Texans to hire as their new head coach before all of this began. The Texans will need to do a lot of work to patch things up with their disgruntled QB, and hiring Bienemy might be the start in doing that.