Deshaun Watson: Houston Texans quarterback trade rumours
Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms: "I would really be shocked if he's not on another team at some point this offseason... It will probably go down as the richest trade in the history of football when all is said and done"
Last Updated: 23/01/21 4:34pm
Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms has said he would be "shocked" if Deshaun Watson, reported to be "extremely unhappy" at the Houston Texans, is not traded to another team by the start of the 2021 season.
Trade rumours regarding Watson have surged since it was first reported in early January Watson was upset with the Texans over his lack of involvement in the process of hiring new general manager Nick Caserio.
Team owner Cal McNair had previously informed Watson he would be involved in the process and be asked to provide feedback during the team's search for a new GM and head coach.
There is a growing sense from people in and around the Texans’ organization that Deshaun Watson has played his last snap for the team. It’s early in the off-season, there’s a lot of time left, but Watson’s feelings cannot and should not be underestimated.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2021
Watson has not yet officially requested a trade from the Texans, but he has not been returning phone calls from the organisation and he has liked tweets linking him with other teams, while ESPN's Adam Schefter said there is a growing sense from people in Houston that he has played his last snap for the team.
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"It's quietly taking the league by storm," Simms told Sky Sports News' Richard Graves this week. "I think this is a real issue; the Houston Texans are in a very dysfunctional spot right now.
"It's very odd, for one, that they asked the quarterback to be involved in the coaching decision - I've never heard of many teams ever, in the history of the sport, asking them to do that.
"Keep him informed of what is going on, but to tell him he has say in the matter, that is weird to me. And then, to do that and then not listen to his say, that is just stupid.
"The sense that I, and a lot of people connected with the NFL get, is that he wants out of Houston.
"There are some people connected to Deshaun Watson who are slowly letting that out. I would really be shocked if he's not on another team at some point this offseason."
The Texans finished the 2020 NFL season a hugely disappointing 4-12, in spite of the inspired play by Watson at quarterback, with the 25-year-old leading the league with 4,823 passing yards, to go with 33 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions.
With Watson a three-time Pro Bowler already in his four-year NFL career, Simms believes there will be plenty of teams calling the Texans over the coming weeks and months to try and strike a deal.
"Look at the Conference Championship games [this weekend]; Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, they're the three best quarterbacks in the game right now. The fourth one is probably Deshaun Watson, or Russell Wilson, they are right there in that conversation.
"He is a game-changer. And he is a guy you want in front of the podium; he handles himself the right way, answers questions the right way and has great charisma.
"He does all of the things that we talk about with an Aaron Rodgers or a Tom Brady, he gives your team confidence as they go, 'we've got that guy, did you see him at practice?'
"He can carry a team by himself to a degree. There is going to be a huge market for him and there will be a lot of teams doing their due diligence right now to see what they can muster up in their own organisation to trade to get him - there is going to be more teams that want him than don't, that's for sure."
As for those teams likely to be battling it out for his signature, Watson is reported to favour a trade to the Miami Dolphins, he liked a post on Instagram linking him to the New York Jets, while the San Francisco 49ers - only 12 months removed from a Super Bowl appearance - are also a seen as a viable destination.
The Jets (No 2) and the Dolphins (No 3) have the benefit of early selections in the 2021 NFL Draft that they could offer (along with other picks), while the 49ers (No 12) would be more likely to offer their current quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as trade bait.
Sources say Watson could play hardball with Texans about a trade. His new $156 million contract includes a no-trade clause but informed speculation from a source is that he would consider the @MiamiDolphins in which Tua Tagovailoa and additional compensation goes to Houston.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 10, 2021
Simms believes the latter type of deal might be more appealing to Houston, but added it will take almost a record haul of players and picks to get a deal done.
"The Texans are in borderline rebuilding mode even with Watson," he said. "They have so many holes to fill across their roster. That's why trading him could be an option.
"I'm sure they would love to trade with a team that has a pretty good veteran [at quarterback], and can then get some draft picks on top of that. That would make things easier, knowing they would have a proven commodity that has at least been there, done that.
"With just first-round draft picks, they might like some of these college quarterbacks but, as we've seen, they don't always work out.
"I will say this though, it will probably go down as the richest trade in the history of football when all is said and done - for this type of quarterback, just into the prime of his career."
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