Deshaun Watson has likely played his final snap as a member of the Houston Texans and there will be a lot of teams looking to acquire the talented quarterback. Watson, 25, is a three-time Pro Bowler and has suggested that he would like a trade out of Houston.
Watson is the NFL’s most accurate quarterback and he also has the insane ability to scramble outside of the pocket and make incredible throws. Right up there with Patrick Mahomes, Watson is one of the best signal callers of his draft class and could find himself a new home in 2021.
In 2020, he completed an NFL record 70.2 percent of his passes, threw for 4,823 passing yards, and had a touchdown to interception ratio of 33:7. Watson also ran the ball 90 times for 444 yards (4.9 yards per attempt) and three touchdowns.
Watson can do anything asked of the quarterback position and has proven that so far in his career. If he gets on a team with the right supporting cast, he could very well be an MVP quarterback very soon.
Here’s a look at four dark horse landing spots for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are certainly a team who should be in the running to land Deshaun Watson. The Saints have a lot to offer Watson including a variety of weapons, a great offensive line, and elite coaching. With Drew Brees potentially retiring, Watson would be a huge addition.
The reason the Saints have to be considered a dark horse to land Watson is because of their current salary cap situation. However, if the Saints make the right moves to land Watson, they could manage to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
Mickey Loomis has worked his cap magic before and would look to do so in a situation like this as well. If the Saints sent the Texans star wide receiver Michael Thomas as part of the deal, they could allow the Texans to absorb the majority of his $100 million contract Thomas signed a couple years ago.
There are ways around the cap space situation for the Saints and the team has a lot to offer Watson as a player.
New York Jets
Imagine how fortunate the New York Jets would be if they managed to land a top two draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and bring in Deshaun Watson to be their franchise quarterback. The Jets, who just hired Robert Saleh to be their new head coach, could look to get more aggressive for players they want and Watson could be in that category.
The Jets currently have Sam Darnold at the quarterback position, but it’s unsure what Saleh’s views on him are. The Jets are in a rebuild, which could be unappealing to Watson who owns a no trade clause he could use to avoid a trade to a team he dislikes, which is why they are considered in my opinion to be a dark horse to land Watson.
The Jets have been awful for years and it’s hard to believe that Saleh will be able to change the culture like everyone says he will. Until then, the Jets should be considered an underwhelming team who is trying to land one of the NFL’s best players.
The Indianapolis Colts could land one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, but the fact that Watson would be in the same division as his former team could make them a dark horse to land the talented signal caller.
The Colts have everything Deshaun Watson could possibly want. They have a great offensive line, a ton of cap space, and some great weapons for him to build around. The Colts also have one of the most down to earth head coaches in the entire league with Frank Reich at the helm and the defense holds their own against some of the best offensive units in the league.
Literally the only reason why Watson is a dark horse to wind up in Indianapolis is the fact that the Texans would have to play him two times a year, and that wouldn’t be pretty for the team down south. If Watson for some reason gets released or the Texans are open to trading him within the division, the Colts could be at the top of the list.
The Chicago Bears are another team in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, but they could be a dark horse to land him because of their coaching staff. The Bears, who are led by Matt Nagy, seem to always be competitive, but Watson is looking to play for a Super Bowl caliber team.
Nagy just isn’t a good enough coach to take his team to the Super Bowl, even if he did manage to land a player like Watson. However, if the Bears did mange to trade for Watson, he would work wonders for the Chicago offense. Watson was passed up on by the Bears back in 2017, who opted to go with the underwhelming Mitchell Trubisky instead.
Watson never forgot that the Bears passed him back in 2017 and that could be a reason for him to not want to join their team. Watson is a very loving, down to earth dude, but he uses disrespect as motivation to succeed.
Him not being taken by Chicago has helped him become one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks and he could continue to succeed with a different team.