The Deshaun Watson rumors continue to heat up, and the San Francisco 49ers are being mentioned as a potential option. CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora reported that NFL executives are floating a “trade concept” involving a quarterback swap of Watson for Jimmy Garoppolo and draft picks.
“Had a few execs text me a [similar] trade concept regarding Texans should the situation with Watson go nuclear: Jimmy G plus several high picks for Watson. Caserio/Jimmy reunion,” LaCanfora explained on Twitter. “Gets Watson out of the AFC kinda like how Belichick wouldn’t trade Jimmy within the AFC.”
Watson is reportedly unhappy with the Texans for not being more involved in hiring new general manager Nick Caseiro. For the 49ers to have any chance at landing Watson, it would likely take multiple first and second-round draft picks as a starting point if the Texans change course and deal their franchise quarterback.
The Dolphins Have Been Linked to Trade Talks for Watson
LaCanfora’s report was prompted after ESPN’s Chris Mortensen mentioned the Texans would consider a trade with the Dolphins centered around Tua Tagovailoa. The Miami quarterback is likely a more attractive option for the Texans over Garoppolo given he is on his rookie contract and a younger prospect.
“If the Sources say Watson could play hardball with Texans about a trade,” ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said on Twitter. “His new $156 million contract includes a no-trade clause but informed speculation from a source is that he would consider the @MiamiDolphins in which Tua Tagovailoa and additional compensation goes to Houston.”
Watson has a no-trade clause, so the quarterback would have control over his next destination if the Texans explore potential deals. It remains to be seen what Caseiro’s next move will be as tensions between the franchise and Watson continue to intensify.
“Once we have an opportunity to spend some time together, we’ll further our discussion,” Caserio responded when asked about Watson, per ESPN. “Can’t tell you how much respect and admiration that I have for him for who he is as a player and what he means to this franchise.”
49ers GM John Lynch Indicated the Team Does Not Expect to Draft a QB in the First Round
The 49ers are publicly backing Garoppolo as their starter for 2021, but the front office sees all the same challenges that fans are pointing out. Garoppolo has an expensive price tag for a quarterback that has struggled to stay on the field. As the Niners head into the offseason, they are continuing to back Garoppolo as general manager John Lynch noted on The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami’s “The TK Show” that he does not expect to take a quarterback in the first round.
“We certainly could, I don’t anticipate that right now, but we’re so early in the process, we’ll do what’s best for this team,” Lynch explained, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “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. 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.”
It will be worth watching if the 49ers maintain this strategy in the offseason or, at the very least, bring in another quarterback to compete with Garoppolo. A deal for a player like Watson seems unlikely, but the Niners would undoubtedly be very interested if he surprisingly becomes available.