It was a long time coming but Deshaun Watson has finally officially requested a trade from the Houston Texans, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He now becomes one of the best quarterbacks to ever hit the trade market. He’s only 25-years-old and has already been to three Pro Bowls. There probably aren’t five quarterbacks in the NFL better than Watson.
Every team in the league outside of the Kansas City Chiefs and a few others should be reaching out to the Texans to see what it would take to get the young superstar. The Las Vegas Raiders could be a team to keep an eye on. Jon Gruden absolutely loves Watson’s ability and they could offer the Texans a solid quarterback in return. It’s not a move that the Raiders should make with a defense that needs a lot of love but Gruden is anything but predictable.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN detailed a potential trade that sends Derek Carr to the Indianapolis Colts, Marcus Mariota and their next three first-round picks to the Texans and in return, the Raiders get Watson and a 2022 third-round pick. The Colts send this year’s third-round pick to the Raiders and next year’s fourth-round pick to the Texans:
Do you think Jon Gruden left the broadcast booth to go .500? The Raiders improved for the third consecutive season, but after their disastrous collapse in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins, Gruden’s Raiders have yet to post a winning season or make it to the playoffs. Carr has been the least of their problems for most of that stretch, but the 29-year-old wasn’t drafted by Gruden and has two years left on his existing deal. The former Bucs coach has stuck with Carr, but he has also had a wandering eye with quarterbacks and glowing things to say about Watson since he entered the league. Watson’s mobility and improvisational skills would give the Raiders another element on offense.
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Is This Trade Proposal Even Possible?
The trade proposal from Barnell is certainly fascinating. It would potentially change the AFC in a major way. If Carr goes to Indianapolis, they become Super Bowl contenders. They had an excellent season with Philip Rivers at the helm. Carr is younger and better than Rivers and would finally be able to play with a good defense. It’s very likely that they’d be excited about this potential deal.
However, things get dicey with Houston. Mariota helped his value when he relieved an injured Carr in Week 15 and played really well. He’s a massive downgrade from Watson but he’d at least give them a quarterback who can make plays in a number of ways. Now, three first-round picks is a lot for the Raiders to give up but it might not even be enough for Watson. Khalil Mack and Jalen Ramsey were worth two. While those players are great, Watson is significantly more valuable and he’s already under contract. The Raiders need to fix their defense and they aren’t going to do it without any draft picks.
Raiders Need to Prioritize Defense
No rational person is going to suggest that Carr is a better quarterback than Watson but he’s certainly not bad. He was Pro Football Focus’ eighth rated quarterback in 2020. Only seven quarterbacks played better than Carr. The biggest knock on him is that he’s only had a winning record once in his career. Well, Watson just led his team to a 4-12 record so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to suggest that he can turn an 8-8 with a terrible defense into a Super Bowl contender.
The Raiders need to fix their defense and they need to do it in the draft. Carr hasn’t gotten a fair shake during his tenure with the team. Obviously, Watson would be a really exciting addition but he’s not winning anything with the Raiders defense how it’s currently constructed.