4 facts that make trading Texans QB Deshaun Watson impossible

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Mark Lane
·2 min read
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The Houston Texans and Deshaun Watson are grist for the rumor mill as whispers and “I’m tolds” indicate the AFC South club is willing to trade its franchise quarterback.

Here are four concrete reasons why the Texans dealing Watson may not be as slam dunk as it is in Madden.

1. Finding a team to take on his contract

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instant-analysis-texans-deshaun-watsons-legend-grew-bills

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of the reasons the Texans settled on the Arizona Cardinals as a trade partner for DeAndre Hopkins was because they would be willing to take on his contract and give him an extension. "When you’re trading a player like DeAndre Hopkins who has three years left on his deal and you’re trying to find a trade partner, you’re not talking to 31 other teams," former coach and general manager Bill O'Brien told reporters on April 16, 2020. "You’re finding a trade partner, No. 1, that’s going to be able to pay DeAndre Hopkins. That was a big part of it." Watson is set to cost the Texans $15.9 million in 2021 and then $40.4 million in 2022.

2. Negotiating trade compensation

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texans-deshaun-watson-pick-up-blitz-steelers

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Taking on Watson's contract shouldn't actually be that big of a problem. The compensation could be more of an issue than anything. When was the last time an NFL team traded a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback who had four years in the league and was 25 years old? It is unprecedented, which means the trade compensation would have to similarly be unprecedented. Who is willing to give up three first-rounders or the current face of their franchise plus premium draft picks? Even if the Texans were able to find a team who could offer proper compensation, that team may not have the salary cap space, or Houston finds a team with cap space but not enough compensation.

3. The no-trade clause

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texans-deshaun-watson-tweet-was-2-then-took-10

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Let's say Houston finds a team willing to provide what Houston is looking for. Does it match what Watson is looking for? Much like the Jadeveon Clowney problem in preseason 2019, the Texans found a willing partner in the Miami Dolphins. However, the former 2014 No. 1 overall pick knew going to a rebuild was good only for the team, not for him. Therefore, he didn't sign the franchise tag tender which allowed him to be traded. If Watson goes to Jacksonville or Miami, who is that really good for? Watson won't be compelled to waive his no-trade clause.

4. Destroys the Texans' prestige with free agents, draft prospects

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texans-deshaun-watson-td-will-fuller-jaguars

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

"Hey, how would you like to play for the team that traded Deshaun Watson?"