Could Deshaun Watson be playing in a San Francisco 49ers uniform in 2021?
After not being involved in the hiring process prior to the Houston Texans inking Nick Caserio as their next general manager, the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback is “extremely unhappy with the organization” he’s called home for the first four years of his stellar career.
As a result, Watson has reportedly ignored phone calls from Texans’ brass and could “play hardball” to force a trade less than six months after signing a hefty four-year, $156 million contract extension with Houston. One of the handful of teams pegged as a potential landing spot for Watson is the 49ers, though it’s a long shot considering his new contract and the draft assets likely required to even open a discussion with Houston.
Deebo Samuel Blasts Latest Deshaun Watson Trade Proposal
Earlier this week, former five-year veteran offensive lineman and current NFL analyst Ross Tucker joined the Bay Area’s 95.7 The Game, where he suggested the Niners offer up 2019 No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa in a package for Watson.
“If you can get Deshaun Watson, I think Bosa’s even touchable”, Tucker told Steiny, Guru, and Dibs on Tuesday. “I’m sure they don’t want to do it, and I’m sure they’d even rather give up picks, but as great as Nick is, you get a chance to get a top-five quarterback in the NFL, you have to do it.”
Niners wideout Deebo Samuel responded to Tucker’s comments on his Instagram story, offering a strong opinion on the proposal.
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Devastating Injury Ended Bosa’s 2020 Season Early
Bosa was injured in Week 2 against the New York Jets are MetLife Stadium in the first quarter. Soon after, it was announced that the second-year defensive lineman tore his ACL and would miss the rest of the season.
In 2019, Bosa was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after finishing with 47 tackles, 25 quarterback hits, 9.0 sacks and an interception in 14 starts. Pro Football Focus gave the first-year Pro Bowler a grade of 86.7 for his rookie campaign, the fourth-highest among rookie defenders since 2006.
This season, Bosa’s absence was noticeable, but defensive coordinator Robert Saleh — hired as the next head coach of the New York Jets on Thursday night — managed to guide his unit to a top-10 finish minus the 23-year-old star pass rusher.
Regardless, the Niners likely wouldn’t give up Bosa in a deal for Watson since they’ve made it clear they already have their quarterback for 2021. However, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora has recently reported that NFL executives have floated the concept of a Watson-Jimmy Garoppolo swap.
Niners Make It Clear They Want Jimmy G in 2021
Despite the ongoing speculation around the quarterback position, 49ers general manager John Lynch said he and head coach Kyle Shanahan have a lot of faith in Garoppolo. The duo believes the Niners are most successful with him back under center.
“I do wanna make it clear, and I think Kyle and I have been fairly transparent since we’ve been here, we have a lot of belief in Jimmy Garoppolo”, Lynch said on Tim Kawakami’s The TK Show on January 8. “Where does that come from? It comes from the sample that we have, and when he’s been out there, we’ve been better. We’ve been successful.”
“In addition to that, his teammates understand that. I’ve always believed leaders not only play at a high level, but they also make everyone else around them better. He’s had that quality on our team, I think he’s a good fit for what we do system-wise. Are there some areas he can improve on, sure, and we’ll always challenge him to do that. But we have liked working with him, and we’re excited to have him back.”
The 49ers claim they don’t need a new signal-caller, but don’t cross Watson completely off the list. If James Harden’s tumultuous exit from the Houston Rockets earlier this week is any indication, anything is possible with disgruntled superstars in H-Town.