During an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport addressed the report that Watson has mentioned to teammates he could demand a trade. Rapoport, before noting that a trade is extremely unlikely, mentioned that the Texans’ asking price might be four or five first-round picks. And considering a safety, cornerback and left tackle have each netted two first-round picks in recent years, Rapoport’s speculation isn’t far-fetched. Watson is one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, even on a roster that’s devoid of talent and even in a year when his team fired its coach. He might be worth it to an NFL team, but probably not the Patriots.
"If Nick Caserio is going to trade @deshaunwatson I don't think is going to happen but for the sake of argument, it's possible. He's going to get so much that he will be able to completely rebuild"@RapSheet thinks Watson could fetch up to 4-5 1st round picks #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/JatYUWv3wM
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 7, 2021
If the Texans shopped Watson on the trade market and that was the asking price, it could leave the Patriots short on talent at other positions for years to come. The idea with a quarterback like Watson is that he elevates the supporting cast. And an argument could be made that Watson is worth all five picks — teams (like the Browns) have whiffed numerous times in an attempt to draft a franchise quarterback.
But if New England went without a first-round pick for the next four to five years, it would be leaving Watson unsupported during his peak. And we’ve seen how bad an offense can be when a quarterback goes unsupported, in part because a few years of first-round picks haven’t panned out (Sony Michel, N’Keal Harry, Isaiah Wynn (injuries)). Look no further than the Patriots in 2019 and 2020. Quarterback is the most important part of New England’s rebuild. But it’s very far from the only position that needs an influx of young talent.