The Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson is unhappy, and there are rumors he may ask the team to trade him. Enter the Watson-to-the-New England Patriots talk.
Now maybe the #Patriots could package multiple first-rounders with a veteran player, let's say, Stephon Gilmore. That's probably their best offer. Would Caserio prefer that over a higher draft pick?
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) January 7, 2021
Would you want the Patriots to trade their first round pick for Deshaun Watson??
I’m an easy yes. pic.twitter.com/kj90irvge8
— SAVAGE BOSTON🍀 (@SavageBoston) January 6, 2021
If you don’t think there’s at least a 5% chance Caserio trades Deshaun Watson to the Patriots for a 2nd and then resigns the next day, you’re massively underestimating Bill Belichick https://t.co/W3PJQAGdx0
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) January 6, 2021
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Why Watson is Unhappy?
The Texans just hired former Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio to be their general manager (so there is an obvious relationship there between the Texans’ new GM and the Patriots’ Bill Belichick). The Texans are looking for a new head coach but did not reach out to highly touted Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator and top candidate Eric Bieniemy, who is black, for an interview.
When news spread that the Texans wouldn’t be interviewing Bieniemy, Watson tweeted a somewhat cryptic message, that has since been deleted. Watson tweeted “some things never change.”
Long-time Texans owner Bob McNair drew criticism for racially insensitive remarks multiple times during his time at the helm. McNair passed away in 2018 and the team is now owned by his wife Janice McNair. However, the combination of the organization’s history and the seemingly egregious decision not to even interview Bieniemy has appeared to strike a nerve with Watson and conjure up some unsavory memories.
On Thursday, rumors spread suggesting Watson has already “quietly broached with teammates” the concept of asking the Texans to trade him:
NBC Sports’ Peter King believes Watson’s frustrations come from the team’s decision not to interview Bieniemy. Take a listen as King speaks on WEEI’s Dale & Keefe Show:
.@peter_king joined the show today and was asked if he could see Deshaun Watson requesting a trade…
"I really can't…I think Deshaun Watson is probably pretty upset the Texans won't even interview Eric Bieniemy…"
— Dale & Keefe (@DaleKeefeWEEI) January 7, 2021
The Patriots’ Fit
It’s no secret, Watson has performed well against the Patriots during his short career, and Bill Belichick hasn’t been shy about showing his admiration for the 25-year-old.
In four games, Watson has completed just under 66 percent of his passes for 1,055 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions.
Most recently, Watson was masterful in outdueling his mentor Cam Newton in a 27-20 win over the Patriots in November.
Watson hasn’t publicly or privately asked to be traded, that we know of, but it’s customary for fans and members of the media to discuss the possibilities of a deal when the dynamics are as such.
The Patriots need to find their quarterback of the future, and there aren’t many young quarterbacks on Watson’s level. If the Patriots could swing a trade to bring Watson to New England, it would be a huge win for the franchise and arguably the biggest football-related story of 2021.
However, completing a trade for a player of Watson’s caliber would require an enormous investment of draft assets across multiple years. The Patriots have the 15th overall pick in the NFL Draft this year, and a total of 7 picks before their compensatory selections are awarded. They’re expected to have 10 in total. Even if the Patriots offered a first and second-round pick from 2021, that would only be the beginnings of the package required to procure Watson from the Texans.
The Athletic’s Robert Mays made a strong point as a part of the Watson trade package discussion:
If Jamal Adams is worth 2 first-round picks, Deshaun Watson is worth *at least* 5. And I think that might be underselling it.
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) January 7, 2021
Even if Mays is off by a pick with his projection, do we really believe Belichick would give up so much for one player–even one as young and as talented as Watson?
It seems unlikely, although we did talk about the Patriots being potentially more aggressive this offseason. Going after Watson with a suitable trade package would epitomize this concept. For now, Patriots fans can only dream.
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