Broncos, 49ers On Deshaun Watson Destination List

Texans bigwigs Cal McNair and Nick Caserio have insisted they intend to retain Deshaun Watson, but the quarterback continues to seek a Houston exit. With J.J. Watt now gone, the four-year quarterback now stands as the unquestioned Texans cornerstone player.

But potential destinations for the passer with the no-trade clause are surfacing. Watson is intrigued by the Broncos and 49ers, with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com indicating (video link) both franchises are on the standout passer’s list of teams he would agree to join via trade.

Former Texans teammate Kareem Jackson confirmed he and Watson had multiple discussions about Denver as a landing spot, and 9News’ Mike Klis also notes the Broncos have garnered appeal with the disgruntled quarterback (Twitter link). The Broncos were in the mix for Matthew Stafford, but they were not one of the teams mentioned as offering their first-round pick (No. 9 overall) for him. Carolina and Washington were believed to have done so. The Panthers are expected to make an aggressive Watson pursuit.

New Broncos GM George Paton came from a Vikings team that built its most recent playoff nuclei through the draft, and he balked at including members of his new team’s young core in a deal with the Lions. But the Paton-Rick Spielman-era Vikings also made splashy moves for QBs Brett Favre and Kirk Cousins. The Broncos have a host of young skill-position players — wideouts Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler and tight end Noah Fant — but have lacked a true answer at quarterback for five years. And they cannot match the Jets and Dolphins for draft capital. Miami and New York have three and four first-round picks through 2022, respectively.

The 49ers, who hold pick No. 12 overall, also inquired on Stafford — to the point the quarterback believed he could legitimately be heading to San Francisco. They also house young skill talent, in George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. While Kyle Shanahan indicated previously that Jimmy Garoppolo was on track to return as the 49ers’ starter, the team investigating Stafford certainly points to the pursuit of potential upgrades.

As for the original suitors connected to Watson, Fowler notes the Dolphins appear ahead of the Jets as a destination for the three-time Pro Bowler. The Jets were once reported to be ahead of the Dolphins in a trade pursuit that has not technically begun, but New York does not appear to be especially high on the quarterback’s list. The Dolphins do not have the skill groups (as of now) the Broncos and 49ers do, but hold the Nos. 3 and 18 picks in this draft and hold two second-round picks this year as well. All of this said, Watson is not expected to be veto-happy when it comes to potential trades.

Watson’s prospective destination list does not seem to matter at this point, though, with Fowler noting other teams view Caserio as entrenched on keeping him. Watson’s $39MM-per-year contract runs through 2025.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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20 comments on “Broncos, 49ers On Deshaun Watson Destination List

  1. Thronson5

    This isn’t going away any time soon. Gonna end up being a hold out at some point. Just shows how poorly ran the team continues to be even after making changes. Before Watts release they were low on cap, sure they still are, they don’t have picks to build through the draft., they gave away Hopkins for nothing and even though that was BOB the owner still had to approve it and now that they have the chance to rebuild, get some good picks they are playing hard ball. Doesn’t make sense. Trade Watson and start your rebuild. Holding on to him is only going to hurt you and could cause them to get less.

  2. tedtheodorelogan

    If the Niners can figure out a way to do it without giving up Bosa or Kittle I’d love the trade.

    • I Beg To Differ

      Houston plays it right, it’ll be just picks. Kittle is already making a lot of money and Bosa has 3 years left on his rookie deal before they have to franchise or pay him.

      Aiyuk may be in the deal as he’s got 4 years and Texans need a receiver opposite Cooks for the QB

      But Texans should seek straight picks for Watson and turn those picks into future picks.

      They’ve got a lot of issues and holes.

      Although Nick Mullens being part of the deal would be interesting to see what he can do given a full off season program and a chance.

      • Thronson5

        Mullens is a free agent isn’t he? Don’t think he will be back either.

        • I Beg To Differ

          RFA.
          So 49ers could talk about a contract extension and then include him or match any offer and trade him.

    • wesside7

      They’ll have to trade Bosa. They don’t have the draft capital the other teams do. They’d have to trade No 12 overall + Bosa + another first and second

  3. I Beg To Differ

    Texans need to whats best for the Texans. Whoever offers the best package.

    Texans need picks. They have a lot of holes to fill and asking for guys like Jeudy Aiyuk, Kittle, etc only takes away from the pick haul.

    But if 49ers offer the best package I’d be interested in seeing what Nick Mullens and Richie James Jr have to offer. They’ve both shown flashes of talent but seem blocked last couple years. So I’d hope they’re part of the return and shouldn’t detract too much from the pick haul.

  4. golfernut

    Denver, no chance, they are a weak team, he wants to play for a winner.

    • wesside7

      Sutton Juedy Fant Chubb Miller Simmons Harris Callahan Jackson. These are not scrubs. This team is believed by many to be just a QB shy of being a playoff team. Plus wouldn’t it be fun to have Mahomes-Watson matchups twice a year for the next 10?

  5. balloonknots

    With the Arm talent in this years draft and fully secured GM in Houston it would make so much sense to fully gut this team and put the rebuild into full gear! Miami or Jets is the way

  6. blueblood1217

    Would love to see him in Miami, but I’d hate seeing them trade away all that draft capital they have .

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