Ever since it became clear Deshaun Watson wanted out of Houston, the Las Vegas Raiders have been mentioned as a potential fit thanks to Jon Gruden’s well-known love for the quarterback and all things Clemson. The Raiders also have a good quarterback in Derek Carr they could trade, which gives them a leg up over some other teams that might be interested. However, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Watson is going anywhere.
Gruden isn’t buying that the Texans are going to send their star quarterback anywhere.
“I personally look at this like a fantasy world,” Gruden said on Chris Collinsworth’s podcast. “[The Texans] have a new GM [Nick Caserio] who just went through a year in New England without Tom Brady. I think he has a pretty good idea just how important Deshaun Watson is to the Texans. I don’t think there’s any way in the world they trade Deshaun Watson. And if they did, the compensation would be like… they’d have to give up seven No. 1 [draft picks].”
Rumors recently just dropped that the Raiders could entertain the idea of trading Carr and getting picks to then use in a trade for Watson. While that’s certainly an interesting hypothetical, Gruden doesn’t sound like a man who is planning to get involved in the trade talks.
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Gruden Expects Watson to Stay in Houston for a Long Time
Players like Watson don’t come around often. Teams spend decades trying to find quarterbacks like him. As of now, it doesn’t sound like he ever wants to play with the Texans again but it would be unwise for them to not at least try to smooth over the situation. Gruden believes that cooler heads will prevail in the end.
“I just think there’s a lot going on. Deshaun’s a great player, he’s a great kid, and I’m sure he’s very emotional right now for a number of reasons,” Gruden said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in him that he’s going to be a great quarterback for a long time in Houston. He already signed that contract, and he’ll be a big part of that rebuild.
The Texans will probably do what they can to convince Watson to stay but if he refuses to play, they’ll have to move him. That seems likely right now. The Texans didn’t make an inspiring head coaching hire and Jack Easterby is still involved with the organization. Houston hasn’t exactly given Watson any reason to change his mind.
Would Gruden Get Involved in Watson Trade Talks?
It’s been reported that the Texans aren’t even taking calls from other teams concerning a Watson trade yet. It’s still very early in the process and Houston has over a month before the league year starts in mid-March. The team should do what they can to smooth things over before free agency.
If the situation remains unsalvageable, it might be time to start thinking about a trade. The Raiders are in a good position right now because they like their quarterback but could be interested in an upgrade. If the Texans do start taking calls on Watson, Las Vegas should at least check-in. The Raiders haven’t been willing to risk a lot in trades during Gruden’s tenure. It’s hard to see them giving up too much for Watson, which will ultimately take them out of the running. That said, they shouldn’t be too concerned as Derek Carr is coming off a great season and is still just 29-years-old.