Report: Deshaun Watson knows trade to Jets would limit their ability to build around him

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Tyler Greenawalt
·2 min read
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It’s no secret Deshaun Watson wants out of Houston. It’s also no secret that the Jets can offer the Texans the best package in a trade.

But while a Jets-Watson marriage is plausible, it may also be unlikely. That’s because Watson understands that if he waived his no-trade clause to join the New York, it could hurt its ability to build around him, per a report from The Athletic’s Jayson Jenks and Aaron Reiss:

The Jets and Dolphins are two rumored preferred landing spots for Watson, whose no-trade clause gives him leverage. But a source said the quarterback is open to other teams and is aware that any trade with New York would limit the Jets’ ability to build a quality roster around him.

This report doesn’t necessarily mean Watson wouldn’t accept a trade to the Jets if it was the only one on the table, but it could indicate New York is much lower on his list of desired destinations. Other potential suitors include the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.

While the Jets have an advantage over other teams in trade negotiations with the Texans, they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to luring Watson. New York has four first-round picks in the next two drafts – which is likely enough to persuade the Texans to accept an offer.

The issue, though, is Watson needs to clear any trade before it can become official, and the Jets have one of the worst rosters of his possible suitors. A trade for Watson, as well as his contract, would cripple the Jets’ ability to build around him.

New York has enough cap space to take on Watson’s $15.9 million cap hit in 2021, but that number balloons to $40.4 in 2022. Depending on how many picks the Jets give up for the trade, Joe Douglas and company would then have to rely on either cheap free agents or late-round rookies to fill out their roster. That sounds too similar to the situation Watson wants to leave in Houston. Granted, Douglas already has a better drafting track record than Houston, but that’s a big risk for Watson when teams like the Dolphins and Panthers have a slightly better overall roster.

Houston is in no rush to trade Watson, yet, but negotiations could accelerate as the offseason progresses and more teams make proposals. The Jets should be among those who look into trading for Watson, but it’s not a given he’ll accept a trade to New York if it means he won’t join a competitive team.

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