What should Deshaun Watson be looking for in a new team?

NFL: DEC 13 Texans at Bears
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Quarterback Deshaun Watson has plenty of control over his current situation, thanks to a no-trade clause that gives him the absolute right to veto any proposed transaction.

So the news that’s constantly emerging regarding teams interested in Watson means nothing. What ultimately matters are the teams in which Watson is interested.

That’s why the Texans first need to gather the full universe of interested teams. Next, they need to find out which of those teams Watson would play for. Then, they need to work the best possible deal from that group of teams.

Surely, the Texans would love to leverage teams against each other without knowing whether Watson would play for any of the teams to whom offers are being shopped. That’s ultimately a waste of time, however, if the Texans are getting offers from teams for which Watson wouldn’t authorize a trade.

So where should Watson want to play? Presumably, he’ll consider various factors.

First, stability of coaching staff. Will he want to join a team with a coach that could be gone after (or during) the 2022 season?

Second, quality of team — specifically weapons and offensive line. Recently, one of Watson’s personal quarterback coaches groused publicly about the receivers available to Watson in 2020. The quality of the blocking also is important. Watson won’t want to be the one man band that he was during his final season in Houston.

Third, contract offer. Any team that signs Watson presumably will want to restructure his deal, which has a $35 million guaranteed base salary in 2022 and a $17 million March 2023 roster bonus that becomes fully guaranteed later this month. Watson can use the occasion of the trade to get more money up front, reducing the impact of a potential suspension in 2022 or, if the league waits for the civil cases pending against him to be resolved, 2023. And it may not just be an issue of money moving around; Watson could use the occasion of the trade to try to get more.

Fourth, overall viability of the team as a contender. Currently, the best teams are in the AFC. Watson may (should) be very inclined to play for an NFC team. The Eagles just made it to the playoffs, and they’re in a relatively weak division. The Buccaneers have a high-level roster, even without Tom Brady. Watson, like other great quarterbacks who have changed teams in recent years, will be looking for a place where he can win games and compete for championships. The Vikings have a brand-new regime with a quarterback-friendly head coach, who once was an NFL quarterback. The Saints have a solid roster and plenty of weapons, along with a new coach who kept much of a successful staff in place.

Only Watson knows where he’s willing to play. As you see report after report after report throwing out name after name after name of possible destination, remember that no amount of interest in Watson matters if Watson isn’t interested back.

59 responses to “What should Deshaun Watson be looking for in a new team?

  1. A veteran coach/GM/owner who can absorb the PR hit that will come. (Seattle, Tampa…)

    A market where he’s still worshiped for his collegiate success (Carolina).

  2. What should he be looking for? A team that’s a quarterback away from contending. Duh. Candidates? Colts. Buccaneers. Browns. Saints sorta. I’d add the 49ers, especially so, but we all know who’ll be taking snaps there next season.

  3. Hopefully whatever team he ends up with buys him one of those $10,000 massage chairs. It will save millions in law suites

  4. I think someone is going to be disappointed. Watson is not an elite QB. I have no problem with Watson the man. I figured from the beginning it was an attempt to extort money. He’s a good kid. But I haven’t seen anything close to a dominant QB. Regular season games are one thing. It’s easy to win 11 or 12 games. But playoffs are different. Generally, the best defenses advance, and the elite QB’s advance. So, the defense is going to shut down your first read and force you to make something happen. That’s where the intelligence factor kicks in. Tom Brady might be the least athletic QB I’ve ever seen and he won 7 super bowls. I mean if you’re relying on your legs time and time again to get crucial first downs, you’re not going to advance. He’s had his opportunities, but he couldn’t make the winning plays when they were there for the taking. It’s on film. You can’t deny it or argue about it. Just watch for yourself. Shoulda, woulda, coulda doesn’t cut it.

  5. Vikings have all the weapons a QB could want and a decent line to protect him. Young offensive minded head coach that just won the Super Bowl. Jefferson is a young wide receiver superstar. Watson has already said he would like to play with the Vikings. Vikings have made calls as well. Package Kirk Cousins, and some veteran players like Theilen, Hunter, Kendricks, etc and a few picks and should be done deal.

  6. The Bucs are way more away then just a QB. Not sure why all the hype about them?
    The Colts have a stud RB so that isn’t a bad thing. Watson will want warm weather I’m betting, no income tax if possible and a DEEP WR room. My bet is Fuller ends up where Watson goes OR a massive trade sends Murray to Texans and he goes to Arizona to play with D Hop again.

  7. There isn’t going to be a PR hit. Fans of every team without a legitimate starter would slap their Mama to get Watson.

  8. Which teams make sense? Tampa, Carolina and Seattle…

    New Orleans could work, but given their cap issues, it’s hard to imagine that happening…

    Philly has the picks to give up and can claim they were a good landing spot for Vick after his issues… Vegas would work if they flipped Carr for picks and then dealt for Watson…

    Minnesota seems like a reach with a rookie HC, but who knows?

    There are probably 20+ cities/teams where it’s a non-starter because they would get destroyed for acquiring him.

  9. The Bucs are trying to open up greater opportunities for female coaches, trainers and other positions… all that will be undermined the moment they bring a guy like Watson to Tampa….

  10. He needs a team with a good defense, strong offensive line and running game. A small market would be better for him too.

  11. hinglemccringleberry says:
    March 12, 2022 at 5:05 pm
    . . . . . OR a massive trade sends Murray to Texans and he goes to Arizona to play with D Hop again.
    Murray for Watson straight up makes the most sense.

  12. The problem with the premise is Mr. 4-12 really has zero leverage and say so. The market isn’t there, virtually any QB out there can go 4-12 as it is a dime a dozen skill and Watson has hit reclamation project status. If any team out there offers up a mid round pick or two to take a flier on the kid he is going to have to learn to be grateful for the second chance and try to salvage a so far underwhelming career.

  13. Watson shouldn’t be looking for anything, he’s lucky he can still play (pending league suspension)

  14. Watson is damaged goods as far as someone many teams would want to be the face of their franchise.( 24 Women sounds like an obsession ) He also missed a year of Football. Are there other women out there who may now come forward because they don’t think justice was done who are not represented by Tony Buzbee? Watson may still have some teams interested but his leverage has been diminished. My guess is he will go where the Guaranteed Money is the highest and there are no clawbacks for a breech of the morals clause.

  15. Why couldn’t the Texans tell Watson he will accept a trade or play with them? If he fails to do,either, put him on the fail to report/retired list. That will change his mind.

  16. Saints can make it work under the cap, would not be easy, signing bonus instead of salary in 2022, void years, all the tricks. They still have a couple of easy moves to make right now and can be under the cap in five minutes if they wanted to be. Watson has a no trade clause, he needs to play hardball with Houston.

  17. “mnrasslinggovjesse says:
    March 12, 2022 at 5:09 pm
    An owner who understands him – Robert Kraft.”


  18. Come to Minnesota Watson. Have an up and coming HC who just won a SB with the Rams. You will have Cook, Jefferson, Thielen, Smith, and Osborn for targets. You will have a state of the art facility for training, a gorgeous home field, and the loudest fans in the league. Let’s go.

  19. He last won 4 games, has been inactive for a year and participated in unsavory behavior. He should be looking for any team that wants him.

  20. Yes he does and no he doesn’t all at the same time. I doubt the team or the league will let him continue his one man strike another season. The teams willing to give Houston the most probably won’t be the teams he wants to play for. If Houston is unwilling to lower its demands is he willing to not report and pay the fines. His juvenile actions last year and extremely high cap number may not appeal to alot of owners. Going to a rebuilding team and destroying their next couple of drafts probably isn’t in his best interest either.

  21. Making it seem as if the fifth amendment dude holds all of the cards. He doesn’t. The Texans do. He doesn’t want to play for them and I guarantee you they don’t want him. He’s more valuable for the booty haul the Texans can get from him.(Yep and arrgh matey. )Either he gets traded wherever if not his option is to play for the Texans. Who’s going to pay him 35 mil to sit on the bench?

  22. Folks who say is has been out a year and may have regressed are foolish!

    Many players have been injured in the off season drills and/or training camp, missed the entire year and teams still want them following rehab the next year!

    Just look at Godwin for TB.

    And Watson is not coming off a season ending injury!

    Missing a year with out an injury is no big deal, teams will still want him.

    How many year did Stauback serve in the Navy, and he came back to win 2 Super Bowls!

  23. Well, one team has some experience paying off settlements involving girls… just sayin’…..

  24. Why doesnt he just stay with the Texans? I feel like they bent over backwards for him over the last few years.

  25. Why anyone would want this perverted loser as the face of their franchise is beyond me.

  26. JD says:
    March 12, 2022 at 5:02 pm
    Hopefully whatever team he ends up with buys him one of those $10,000 massage chairs. It will save millions in law suites.

    They make chairs for that kind of massage?

  27. The big thing any team looking to trade for him should be looking into is any future legal issues. This grand jury didn’t see a reason to move forward & the civil litigation will play out soon. But what next? How long before more women come forward? Maybe never. Or maybe there was something to all of this and this is all just getting started.

  28. I believe all the hype regarding Watson’s return is wish fulfillment. With the society structured the way it is currently in this country? With tiny cohorts changing policy etc.? With the civil trial(s?) yet to commence? Right or wrong, Mr. Watson’s situation is not yet in his rear-view.

  29. Texas needs 1st round picks that are available and valuable, eliminating many of the team’s mentioned in this article. Cap space plays a part in the equation also, thinning the field further for Watson, in my opinion.

  30. You can ask me 500 times what this loser should be looking for in a new team, and each time I will reply, counselor, “I respectfully invoke my rights under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, on the grounds that answering your questions may incriminate me. Now can we get on with this? I need a massage!”

  31. It would be interesting to see a player with leverage such as a no trade clause limit the draft capital traded for him. This would let the player ensure his new team can be competitive.

  32. Cousins and 3 first rounders for Watson. Would make the Vikes offense the best in the league. Gitter done KAM! Skol!

  33. The question should be what should a team be looking for from Watson? A guy who wants to clean up his off field image by getting help,and never getting massages anywhere except the team’s facility,by a male. He’s far from being out of the woods anyway. There are civil suits and a possible suspension still up the road.

  34. Honestly I don’t see Watson having leverage. He should go with anyone willing to take the risk. If he really did what he did, and I believe it’s true he should be thankful to play for anyone.

  35. You all know that the Texans had him on their roster this year and chose not to play him right? Everyone making it seem like the Texans are squeaky clean haven’t been watching the Texans closely.

  36. I really doubt the Eagles would do it. They are high on Hurts, who has potential and is very cheap. They can use the cap savings to continue to add weapons and defenders. I don’t see how bringing Watson in and blowing up the cap helps them.

  37. badrobot74 … Watson refused to play last season for the Texans, otherwise he would have been on the field. It wasn’t the Texans fault.

  38. sammyias- The Texans tried out loud to trade him to the highest bidder in the weeks leading up to the allegations becoming public. They manufactured that he was disgruntled at the time. . Would you want to come back and play “team” with them?

  39. The people talking about he has no leverage seem to not understand how no trade clauses work.

  40. Shouldn’t he be happy to just find a new team that wants him? I can’t imagine he has too much leverage in this if he really doesn’t want to play in Houston. He could want to be cut though but I have a hard time he’s going to get a deal like the one he currently has.

  41. I might be wrong… I don’t follow the Texans too much, Not a Watson fan, but from what I’ve read the Texans seem pretty dysfunctional. Perhaps they belong together. Cheers!

  42. badrobot74 … Watson stated even before camp he would “NOT” play again for the Texans.

  43. badrobot74 … Watson quit the Texans before the first accusation, which then turned into many more. Had he paid off masseuse number uno, the rest may have never came to light. At least that is the way it seemed to me … But, he stated he wouldn’t play again for the Texans before (at least I) knew of his fetish (more than a fetish).

  44. What some guys don’t get , is that if you put the best QB (Rodgers) into a dumpster fire of a franchise (like my own team , the Jets) then they may improve things a bit, but they cannot carry the team on their shoulders alone.
    Watson , once he shakes off some of the rust , will make a team better.
    Similarly , all the TB12 fans , need to realise that he has only had his great career because of his exceptional coaching support , and surrounding players.
    Come to NYJ , TB12 , then we will see how good you are , Lol.
    DeShaun is a potentially great QB who has been on a poor franchise

  45. He better just look for a team that want’s him because there aren’t very many at all!

  46. Saints: no cap space and nobody on high salary to rework.
    Eagles: $17 mil cap space and draft picks.
    Vikings: no cap space today, but they’d obviously trade Cousins and get all the cap space they will need.
    Yes, salary cap has to be talked about.

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