Quarterback Deshaun Watson wants the Texans to trade him. The Texans currently are trying to do that.
The problem is that the Texans apparently want a return that ignores the fact that Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits, 10 criminal complaints, the likelihood of an eventual unpaid suspension from the league, and the ever-present possibility of the league deciding to place Watson on paid leave. It’s unclear whether and to what extent Watson will play in 2021 or in 2022.
So how can the Texans and any interested teams work out a fair trade for his services? The most fair outcome will entail conditional picks based on the number of games he’s available to play in 2021 and 2022.
The more he plays, the more/higher the picks should be. From third round up to first round in 2022 and 2023, depending on availability to play in 2021 and 2022.
So instead of three first-round picks, how about a pick that can go from third round to second round or first round in 2022 based on 2021 playing time, a pick that can go from third round to second round or first round in 2023 based on 2022 playing time, and a first-round pick in 2024? The problem for the team that trades for Watson becomes tying up three picks in each of the next two drafts until the final playing availability for each year is determined.
Regardless, if the goal is to come up with a fair trade, this is the most fair way to do it. If the Texans are motivated to move on, it could be the best deal they get.