Texans GM Nick Caserio can’t like that Deshaun Watson trade rumors are swirling around when he’s not even a week into his new role yet. But Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported earlier on Thursday that Watson has “quietly” discussed a potential trade request, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone considering how much turmoil the Texans went through in 2020.
Considering Jets GM Joe Douglas didn’t commit to Sam Darnold as the team’s quarterback in 2021, it’s worth speculating on whether or not a Watson trade would interest Gang Green. Yes, they do own the No. 2 overall pick, but Watson is a proven commodity in the NFL and the Jets may want that to build around.
At what cost? Well, that’s the biggest question if Caserio is to get rid of his young, Pro Bowl signal caller. This won’t be a DeAndre Hopkins fleece that the Cardinals pulled off this past offseason.
With that in mind, let’s look at three potential trade packages the Jets could put together that might entice Caserio and the Texans to send Watson to New York:
1. Jets send both 2021 first-round picks, 2021 fifth-round pick and 2022 third-round pick
Douglas knows that he’s stocked with multiple first-round selections for the next two drafts thanks to the Jamal Adams trade. He also knows that Caserio is currently equipped to take his first pick in this upcoming draft in the third round. This came in the Laremy Tunsil/Kenny Stills trade that has been highly criticized.
So right off the bat, this trade offer would give the Texans much better draft position with two first-rounders, including one in the top two that would (you guessed it) allow them to take a top quarterback not named Trevor Lawrence. Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and others are still available. Caserio could also flip that No. 2 pick for even more capital.
With another mid-rounder here and a future mid-round pick, this trade package might seem like a lot but again, Watson is worth this kind of haul.
2. Jets send No. 2 overall 2021 pick, 2021 second round pick, Seattle’s 2022 first-round pick, 2022 fourth-round pick
Once again, we’re doing all picks here because that’s really going to be the brunt of any trade package Caserio will pick up the phone for. This time, though, the Jets are looking to at least still be able to pick high in this year’s draft.
The Texans won’t get both 2021 first-rounders, just the No. 2. So wherever Seattle ends up drafting late in the first round, the Jets will still be able to get, say, a solid running back to go along with Watson.
Then, in 2022, Houston can take Seattle’s pick and the Jets will pick traditionally wherever they end up on the board. The fourth-round pick is the added sweetener just to make it a four-for-one deal. The main crux of it all is still the two firsts.
3. Jets send Sam Darnold, No. 2 overall 2021 pick and Seattle's 2022 first-round pick
In both the above options, the Jets will likely look to move Darnold if Watson is headed over. Getting some draft capital back in the process would be great to make up for the lost ones in this deal.
But what if the Texans would be interested in Darnold? That would be killing two birds with one stone for Douglas, who could take out one draft pick in the deal given Darnold’s age and untapped potential. After all, Douglas does believe Darnold's future in the league is bright and he could just need a change of scenery to realize what he needs to do to succeed consistently in the league.
The Texans will still want a couple first-rounders, so the No. 2 this year will suffice. And that's because it's a very valuable pick that Caserio could, as we said, flip for more stock.
Then, Seattle's first-rounder in 2022 could put a stamp in it. A young quarterback that can still develop, a coveted first-round pick this year and another first in 2022 sounds like a fair exchange.