Deshaun Watson is reportedly unhappy with the Houston Texans causing many photoshopped pictures to pop up of the quarterback in a San Francisco 49ers uniform. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported that Watson has discussed requesting a trade given the instability of the Texans’ franchise and his lack of involvement in hiring decisions.
“Rumors already are circulating, and we’ve already heard them from multiple different people, that Watson has quietly broached with teammates the possibility of requesting a trade,” Florio explained. “If that’s happening, it may just be a strategic effort to ensure his views are respected by ownership. Regardless, it raises the stakes and crosses a bridge and potentially sets the foundation for Watson eventually to decide that he’d like to continue his career elsewhere.”
Niners fans may be excited to learn that San Francisco was on a lengthy list of teams from Florio as a potential landing spot for Watson. The bad news is nearly half the NFL is on the same list which makes sense as it is extremely rare that a quarterback of this caliber is ever available.
“It’s too early to think about where he’d potentially be traded,” Florio continued. “It’s not too early to make a list of teams that would possibly clamor to get him. The Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Raiders, Broncos, Washington, Eagles, Bears, Lions, Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Buccaneers (if Tom Brady is one and done), and 49ers are the most obvious.”
Watson Is ‘Extremely Unhappy’ With the Texans
The Texans started the offseason needing to hire both a general manager and head coach. Watson is already disenfranchised with the Texans and the offseason is just beginning. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Watson expected to be involved in the hiring of a new general manager and is now avoiding the team’s calls.
“Texans QB Deshaun Watson is extremely unhappy with the organization after owner Cal McNair informed him he would be involved in the GM and coach hiring process and provide feedback… but then did neither in the hire of GM Nick Caserio, sources say,” Rapoport noted on Twitter. “…Deshaun Watson has not spoken to Texans brass in the last few days, though they have tried to call him.”
Watson may be unhappy but that does not mean the Texans are required to trade the quarterback. Longtime Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain is not buying the trade rumors.
“I’ve got a better chance of becoming the Texans’ new head coach than Deshaun Watson has of being traded,” McClain tweeted.
If Traded, Watson Would Land the Texans a ‘Bounty of NFL Draft Picks & Players’
Watson is just a few months removed from signing a four-year, $160 million contract extension and is unlikely to be dealt despite his unhappiness. If the Texans did opt to do the unthinkable, Watson has a no-trade clause giving him control over his new destination, and the 49ers have a very appealing situation given their talented roster. ESPN’s Adams Schefter explained there would be a $22 million cap hit that the Texans would absorb on any potential deal, but a trade would land the team a “bounty of NFL draft picks and players.”
“There already has been speculation that Watson could demand a trade, though Caserio is only just starting his job and the team still doesn’t have a head coach,” Schefter detailed. “If the team were to trade Watson, it would have to absorb a salary-cap charge of $22 million, though it could get back a bounty of NFL draft picks and players.”
What would San Francisco be expected to give up in a hypothetical trade? A Watson deal would “start” with three first-rounders along with additional selections and players, per NFL insider Benjamin Allbright.
“Texans aren’t trading Watson, nor has that been discussed,” Allbright said on Twitter. “I asked for a hypothetical offer that might move him last night. Three 1sts, three 2nds and a player might start the conversation”