John Mara rules out pursuing Deshaun Watson

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With the Giants hiring a new G.M., looking for a coach, and potentially searching for a different quarterback, some have mused about the possibility of Texan quarterback Deshaun Watson landing in New York.

On Wednesday, the man who claims he doesn’t interfere with personnel decisions communicated a clear personnel decision that someone other than him (eye-roll emoji) has made.

Via Dan Duggan of, Giants co-owner John Mara “unequivocally ruled out” a trade for Deshaun Watson.

Mara claims there are “so many reasons” for the decision, citing the pending sexual misconduct allegations and “salary-cap implications.”

The first one makes sense. The second one never does. It’s become an excuse to justify not doing something that otherwise could be done.

Watson is under contract for four years, with a payout of $136 million. ($34 million per year.) He has a $35 million payout in 2022, which could easily be converted to a signing bonus with a much lower cap number.

As high-end quarterback contracts go, it’s a bargain. With the application of some accounting elbow grease, they could make it palatable. They don’t want to.

And that’s fine. That’s their prerogative. But the supposed salary-cap shield is all too often coated in a patina of poop from a bull. If the Giants really wanted Watson, the salary cap wouldn’t be an issue.

28 responses to “John Mara rules out pursuing Deshaun Watson

  1. Trade for him already. He is a Top 10 NFL QB and the league clearly is letting all the other stuff get swept under the rug.

  2. Kudos to the Giants! They are one of the teams in the past decade that place high value on player character. Which Watson is lacking.

    This news coming from Mara is NOT a personel decision. But it is a character decision that the owners team culture is built around. Well done Mara!

  3. Ask the Saints who are $70 million over the cap how that accounting elbow grease worked out.

  4. No one is going to sign Watson until his legal issues are wrapped up. Even then how good is he going to be after taking a year off? Too much mystery and not enough upside.

  5. John Mara can’t even handle taunting without getting his panties in a bunch. Did anyone really think he would sign off on Watson? Certain franchises are about other things besides winning, from the top down.

  6. Smartest move at the QB decision they’ve made outside of drafting Mann…I mean Rivers.

  7. I cant stand the Mara family, but he is right. No one in their right mind would or should take a chance on him at this point. The cost is too high.

  8. So D. Jones is the better guy ?? … oh my well enjoy being at the bottom of the league for years to come as you show off your moral stones … believe me after a year or two many fans won’t care how n why he got there as long as you are winning … life in the NFL as an owner is really as simple as that.

  9. It is going to take a very unique situation for a team to agree to pay this guy $25-$30M to be the face of the franchise.

    Way too much baggage.

  10. No guarantee Watson will be the same after sitting out at least a year and switching teams.

  11. If they signed him and he was suspended for 1 or 2 years — you can’t rule it out — they’d be paying $80 MM over 2 years for NOTHING.

    Watson is an ingrate who stabbed the Texans in the back over NOTHING.

  12. Will the agony ever stop for Texans fans? Every time there is a speck of hope, it’s swiped away from under their feet. The fans didn’t ask for this mess.

  13. Yeah that’s smart. Give him a giant signing bonus when you have no idea if he’s gonna play in the next year or two. Also, the giants have 14k left for next year salary cap. How much grease do you need to bring this guy into a team full of holes?

  14. Texans did win just as many games this year without Watson as they did last year with him. Plus with a much worse roster. So is Watson really an upgrade to any team?

  15. The Giants have zero cap room to trade for ANYBODY. This year is going to be a year of shedding contracts and losing while pretending to support Daniel Jones since there are no real QB prospects in this draft.

  16. It’s understandable that any team might be hesitant about Watson for a variety of reasons but if it’s because they haven’t given up on Daniel Jones, then well, enough said. The Cowboys, Eagles and WFT all thank you.

  17. Nobody tried to trade for him last year, and no one will now, UNTIL! his legal problems are OVER! If they ever will be. That said, Get a real QB, sign free agent Marcus Mariota, head and shoulders better than Jones

  18. I figure Pittsburgh is probably only team to trade for Watson. Ben would be a great mentor to him.

  19. Salary cap is definitely an issue. Sure, it can be managed and worked around, but it’s a real issue.

  20. As a Giants fan, I don’t want Watson for character reasons, and I’m glad our ownership is against that. But I also don’t think Daniel Jones is the answer. Making this comment now was 100% about making the case for continuing to regard DJ as a potential QB of the future. (Just like hiring an incompetent backup last year was 100% about avoiding a QB controversy.) The questions of who starts at QB next year and whether DJ is even under consideration for being part of this franchises long term future, is for the new coach, who hasn’t even been hired! This feels just like when Mara said Judge was staying before a new GM was hired. It makes the organization look unprofessional. Mara needs to stick to the program of letting these new hires make the decisions for the organization.

    There’s no fact-based reason for us to stick with Jones in the long haul. Jones has terrible pocket presence; he doesn’t go through progressions and stares down receivers. And while he’s incredibly fast in open space, he struggles to see and find open space and scramble effectively and safely, and he can’t throw while scrambling (the KEY skill for successful mobile QBs, see Rodgers/Wilson). While Jones has exceptional physical tools comparable to Mahomes/Herbert/Allen, the mental element is not there. And that’s before we even get to his ball security issues. I don’t see how an offensive line or better weapons will solve the fundamental issues with Jones.

    There’s too much loser energy around the Jones “debate.” We want to go back to being winners. I think it’s best for the health of the organization and the fanbase to let go of the last element of the failed old regime. Jones still has some value because of his apparent potential. I’m happy to take picks and a backup QB so another team can see if Jones magically turns into a cut rate Josh Allen five years into his NFL career. Then we can pick up some Minshew or Mariota or Brisett or McCoy type journeymen for rebuild mode until we can draft our long run guy at QB.

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