The inevitable happened. Deshaun Watson has requested a deal from the Houston Texans.
That’s no surprise. Watson has reportedly been unhappy with the Texans this off-season and has lost faith in the organization. As such, the 25-year-old quarterback is going to be the hottest commodity in the trading market as the NFL simply doesn’t have many starting quarterbacks, let alone potential franchise quarterbacks.
Watson will fetch a heavy price to interested bidders and it appears the Washington Football team is struggling to pay. They may be willing to sacrifice assets to get it, but armed with the 19th election, they will have trouble fulfilling the offers of some other teams voting higher, like the New York Jets (# 2 and # 23) Picks in 2021). and Miami Dolphins (No. 3 and 18 picks in 2021).
However, that doesn’t mean Washington can’t benefit from a Watson deal. They should be interested in him, but even if they don’t land Watson, they have a chance to improve their team because of a possible move.
How the Washington Football Team can benefit from a Deshaun Watson deal
Basically it all boils down to this. If either the Dolphins or the Jets act on Watson, they will have to accommodate the young quarterbacks on their respective rosters, Tua Tagovailoa and Sam Darnold. Yes, both of them could be in a deal with the Texans, but it seems more likely that Houston would prefer picks to these quarterbacks.
With the 2021 NFL Draft stacked at Quarterback, they can choose a quarterback of their choice from the top three when trading with the Jets or Dolphins. This could be Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, or even Trey Lance. If the team picks one of these players, they would likely prefer starting them over a quarterback like Tagovailoa or Darnold.
This is where Washington would come into play. You could pick up one of those young quarterbacks cheaply if Watson lands with the Dolphins or Jets. Both teams would have to replenish their inventory of draft picks if they acted for Watson. Therefore, trading Tagovailoa against a round two selection would go up, the price the Dolphins cost just a year after his top 10 selection for taking over Josh Rosen, is reasonable for Washington and Miami. And a deal that sends Darnold a mid-round selection to the Jets could make sense for Washington as well.
Either way, these two cheap quarterbacks would give Washington a chance to spend more money on other areas of their roster while their newly acquired quarterback could compete for game time with Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke. It would also protect the team in the event they couldn’t land any of the top five quarterbacks in the draft or any of the veterans available through trade.
So Washington should remain vigilant in this market. Elsewhere, they could also try to pick up some other Houston assets as they head towards a full rebuild.
There are strong recipients in Houston in particular. If the Texan brand doesn’t see Cooks as a fit for her roster for a $ 12 million deal, Washington could try to act for him. Or Washington might choose to target Will Fuller as a freelance agency in the hopes that the Texans will let him go and invest in younger recipients. This is surely something to watch out for.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that Watson’s presence in the trading market makes him the best quarterback available through the trade. This could distract some teams who would otherwise be involved in the Matthew Stafford Sweepstakes and make them a little bit reluctant to negotiate.
Granted, that doesn’t mean Washington will be the front runner for Stafford. It also doesn’t mean a team would slip Stafford through their fingers and rely on the Watson acquisition, but it’s at least one factor to consider when you consider that Stafford is a good fit for Washington.
We’ll see where Watson plays in 2021 and beyond soon, but his no-trade clause puts him in full control of the situation. No matter what, Washington could benefit from a deal. It just depends on when it happens and which teams are involved in the bidding war.