Poll: Where Will Deshaun Watson Play In 2021?

This Week in Deshaun Watson produced perhaps the most noteworthy headline of the saga thus far. The disgruntled quarterback’s meeting with new Texans HC David Culley did not cause him to back off his trade request.

New Texans GM Nick Caserio is dug in against the prospect of trading Watson, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King. With the Texans not viewing free agency as a deadline to make a deal, a resolution does not appear imminent. With teams pursuing Watson potentially moving to other options in the near future, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the days leading up to the new league year.

Thus far, the Texans have not budged. Caserio and Cal McNair have issued multiple statements indicating they want Watson back under center in Houston next season. In holding Watson’s rights, the Texans certainly have leverage. Trading Watson later in the offseason may affect his assimilation with his next team and affect that team’s 2021 roster plan, though that might be a small factor here. And Watson could be fined more than $20MM this year if he is truly committed to never playing for the Texans again, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

By waiting until after the draft, the Texans would put themselves in danger of downgrading significantly at quarterback and doing so without collecting the kind of trade package that would help kickstart a rebuild. Thanks to their Laremy Tunsil/Kenny Stills trade, the Texans are without 2021 first- and second-round picks. And they may be set to let Will Fuller walk; prior to his trade request, Watson wanted the Texans to retain Fuller. While they would stand to recoup these and much more were they to unload Watson, he remains a Texan for the time being. Where will he be when the season starts?

Although the Texans might not even view the draft as a loose deadline to trade their three-time Pro Bowl passer, the Jets and Dolphins’ draft arsenals would be enticing. Both pick in the top three this year — the Jets at No. 2, the Dolphins third — and hold extra Round 1 picks (the Dolphins at No. 18, the Jets at 23). The Dolphins also have two second-round picks this year, while the Jets have two 2022 first-rounders from the Jamal Adams trade. Watson is believed to be a Robert Saleh fan, but subsequent reports have emerged indicating he would favor a deal to Miami over New York.

The Dolphins and Jets have QBs they could send to Houston, in Tua Tagovailoa and Sam Darnold, and these incumbent options would hold more appeal compared to the passers the Broncos and Panthers could send over. However, Watson has a no-trade clause, and both Carolina and Denver outflank the two AFC East squads at the skill positions.

Carolina and Denver already discussed Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock, respectively, in talks with the Lions for Matthew Stafford. Both franchises have new GMs not tied to the acquisitions of either passer, and each team holds a top-nine pick — the Panthers at 8, the Broncos at 9 — this year. The Panthers thus far lead everyone in reported Watson interest. Multiple reports have emerged about owner David Tepper being beyond smitten with Watson and obsessed with his franchise making a major quarterback upgrade. Starting nine quarterbacks since Peyton Manning retired, the Broncos are planning to be aggressive as well — if Watson is made available.

The Panthers have both young assets that would intrigue Watson — in Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson — and players that would potentially appeal to the Texans in a trade package. So do the Broncos (Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant). Though new Denver GM George Paton was reluctant to part with young assets for Stafford, Watson being a 25-year-old superstar would change the equation surely.

It is not known how aggressive the 49ers will be, but they did discuss Stafford with the Lions. No offer emerged, however. They have made statements indicating they are fine with Jimmy Garoppolo returning, but Stafford discussions certainly point to San Francisco being interested in a Watson swap. The 49ers’ plan, as of late February, would be either making a Watson-level splash or trot out Garoppolo again. While the Broncos are on Watson’s list of approved destinations, the 49ers may well be ahead of them on said list.

Who are the key dark-horse teams to monitor here? The Raiders have been mentioned as a potential suitor. Of course, they have since been named one of Russell Wilson‘s four acceptable destinations. How much should Watson fetch in a trade? Vote in PFR’s latest poll (link for app users) and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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35 comments on “Poll: Where Will Deshaun Watson Play In 2021?

  1. Barflies

    I would say Jets only because they have the 2nd overall pick to give up. Other than that either Texans or he sits out.

    • doug.daniel243

      Honestly if there is any team willing to pony up the kind of deal it will take to get him, I have to believe it is Carolina as crazy as that sounds

  2. DarkSide830

    i have a feeling he’s not getting traded, and he doesn’t seem like the type to sit out to me.

    • viercjm

      Normally I would say that too, but I think the Texans are without a 1st until 2023. They can’t really afford to have him sit this year, it wouldn’t help their rebuild. They could get a 1st this year and probably next. I get wanting to hold your ground, but they need too much to not take the best offer.

  3. I Beg To Differ

    Miami honestly they have the most to offer.

    Tua, #3 this year, #35 this year (Miami keeps their first and second), 2022 1st and 2nd, plus other draft picks

  4. case7187

    I feel if they trade him it’s going to be someone who can send back a high quality QB like Tua,Jimmy G and R. Wilson if they decide to trade him but I can see with Caserio in the fold I see Jimmy G as the most likely destination

  5. dandan

    If the 49ers are at all willing to include one of Bosa/Kittle/Warner with some picks then Watson is their’s to lose. And as much as I want to see Deshaun in 49ers red & gold, I just don’t see that happening. If players aren’t on the table, they’d have to part with their next 4 first round picks + additional picks (at the very least) because they’d be easily outbid by other suitors IMO.

    • rocky7

      According to the next pro football rumors article, it appears that Jimmy G has a “no-trade” clause in his contract with the 49’ers which means the 49ers will not be smelling Watson anytime soon unless Jimmy approves a move….may be very wrong but don’t think the Texans are high on his wish list to teams he’s like to be traded to.

      • dandan

        He can also just be released with a dead cap hit of under two million. The No-Trade is essentially useless.

        • Regi Green

          If he’s released,he still gets to choose where he ends up.The no trade clause is definitely still useful.

    • amk1920

      I don’t care how good Kittle is, You don’t make a TE the centerpiece of a trade for your franchise QB. Bosa maybe.

  6. raider j81

    I think it’s Miami. Houston gets Tua both Miami’s first round picks and a first next year. I know it’s a lot and some will disagree but I think that’s what’ll take to get the deal done.

  7. Nick843

    He will not be traded before June 1st, if he’s at all. The way the contract is set up it will cost them money trading before then.

    • Hawktattoo

      They did save money on cap hit..your right. But they wouldn’t receive any draft picks this year, would be for 2022. Also makes it tough for them in cap space for free agents. They would still have salary on books till june.

  8. Nick843 2

    He will not be traded before June 1st, if he’s at all. The way the contract is set up it will cost them money trading before then.

  9. WSnotAstros2017

    I think Texans need to find the best deal and get draft picks. It was said Watson will sit out if not traded. I feel for him and if he thought all this fiasco with team would transpire probably may not have signed extension. O’Brien duped him and management, McNair and Easterby. I can understand wanting some thoughts where team goes but learning of changes on social media and not told by management directly. Texans will not be great this season if do not do something. JJ gone, Fuller, Watson sitting out if they do not do something. I know a lot of money but need some respectability left with this team. Ownership may not change anytime soon. Just hate to see the team where they are. I want a team that can enjoy and watch.

  10. ncbravesfan95

    I am gonna say this Matt Ryan and there 4th pick to Houston for a 1st Round for 2023 and Watson

  11. I think the pats will give the texans there pick 15 of the first round plus some other player for watson then the pats will trade gilmore to the browns for odell

    I think the patriots will trade there first round pick 15 to the texans for watson then trade gilmore to the browns for odell beckham

  12. Mr Bob moose

    Tepper loves big snakes. I’m not complimenting Watson. Never seen him naked.

  13. angelsfan4life

    The Broncos could send Chubb, Lock, Fant, and Hamler along with 3 first round picks for Watson. And the Broncos will still have more young talent around Watson, than the 9ers, Dolphins, Jets or Panthers after the trade. Houston isn’t taking bad contracts in return for Watson. Why would he go to the Panthers, Christian McCaffrey is it there?

    • frank858

      Broncos will most definitely not trade all of those players for Watson. Patton said that he would trade picks and a couple of players but would not gut his team for Watson or Russell.

      • angelsfan4life

        @frank858, Lock and Chubb would have to be part of any trade to get a franchise type QB. Hamler is a return guy and a 5th receiver, on the Broncos. I wouldn’t want to give up Fant, but would you really keep Fant and continue losing because the team can’t score enough? As for Chubb, the Broncos could use Reed as a starter. Draft a pass rusher in the 4th or 5th round to be the backup. I know it sounds like a lot, but how many times does a team get the opportunity to trade for a Franchise QB, that isn’t even in his prime yet?

        • mlbnyyfan

          He’s going to Miami unless the Jets make Houston an offer they can’t refuse. Jets could trade Darnold, Quinnin Williams, Becton #2 pick and first round pick next year.

  14. shortsighted

    Whomever they trade Watson for it needs to be the best collection of young talent and picks. Houston no doubt will get a competent QB in this trade with either a young talent or a high draft pick so the way I see it the Jets and Dolphins are in the drivers seat. Houston needs to decide if they want Tua or Darnold. The draft picks are pretty much a wash

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