Ex-Jets GM would trade 4 first-rounders, Quinnen Williams for Deshaun Watson

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Sam Neumann
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Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum is no stranger to making splashy trades at the quarterback position.

During his tenure at One Jets Drive, Tannenbaum traded for Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre and traded up in the draft to select Mark Sanchez. And that was over the course of just two offseasons.

With his track record in mind, it’s no surprise that Tannebaum now believes the Jets should trade for disgruntled Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. If he were still the GM, he’d be willing to trade the family farm and then some.

Putting himself in Joe Douglas’ shoes, Tannenbaum said he would part with four first-round picks and one of New York’s best defensive players without a second thought.

“I would get Nick Caserio on the phone. I would absolutely do whatever it took,” Tannenbaum said on The Jake Asman Show. “Once you have Deshaun Watson, you create this aura of association. We decided in Tampa Bay, Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski, and Antonio Brown — it’s amazing what a great quarterback does.

“It changes your franchise, and you have Robert Saleh. You go get Deshaun Watson, and the New York Jets will be thought about completely differently for the next 10 years. And if you have to throw in Quinnen Williams, I don’t care. Because I can go find a Quinnen Williams, but Deshaun Watson is too talented. He’s a great person. He’s a great leader. He’s young. He’s under contract for five years. Whatever it takes, I get Deshaun Watson.”

While it would be hard to see the Jets and specifically Saleh parting with Williams — or four first-rounders — Watson is one of the best players at his position. He would instantly become one of the best passers in franchise history.

That said, the Jets haven’t exactly lucked out in the pass-rusher department and would be wise to find a way to keep Williams in a potential blockbuster trade for Watson.

Even in a season in which his head coach was fired and his star wide receiver was shipped away, Watson still managed to lead the NFL in passing. He finished the 2020 campaign completing 70.2% of his passes for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The Jets have the cap space and the draft capital to make one of the strongest bids for Waston. While Tannenbaum puts together a convincing argument, he’s also mortgaging the team’s future in the process. Time will tell if Douglas and the Jets’ front office feels the same way.