Earlier in the week, Jerry Rice said he thinks Niners’ general manager John Lynch should try and put together a package to bring Watson to the Bay Area.
Now, Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young is also chiming in with his thoughts. The two-time NFL MVP was on KNBR and was asked what he would be willing to part within a trade package for Watson (h/t 49erswebzone):
“I would give two first-round picks for generational quarterbacks, these are potential Hall of Famers.
Who are the generational quarterbacks playing right now? Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, probably Josh Allen. Like, young guys. Justin Herbert, very quickly. I would not trade Justin Herbert for less than that, even though he’s won four games or something like that. But there’s something about him that really gives me that sense.”
San Francisco holds the 12th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. With defensive coordinator Robert Saleh moving on to become the head coach of the New York Jets, the 49ers are projected to have a total of 10 selections in April.
Watson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He led the league with 4,873 passing yards and threw 33 touchdowns during the 2020 season.
Young also said he might be willing to part with three first-rounders to bring the 25-year-old to the Bay Area.
“He is, no joke, one of the best quarterbacks in the league ... He is poised to be one of the generational greats, and he’s already proven that he can handle it. ... To me, Deshaun Watson is like, ‘Wow. I want that.’”
Houston signed Watson to a four-year deal worth up to $160 million (roughly $111 million in guaranteed money) just before Week 1 of the 2020 regular season. The team paid him a $27 million signing bonus as well.
Per Over the Cap, Watson’s base salary for the 2021 season is a little more than $10.5 million, with a higher cap number of $15.94 million. His contract is structured in a way that sees a significant increase in the following years.
Watson’s cap number is more than $40 million in 2022 and 2023 and then averages out to $33.35 over the final two seasons of the deal.
The 49ers still have Jimmy Garoppolo under contract. The quarterback missed 10 games this past season while dealing with ankle injuries. Garoppolo’s cap hit for the 2021 season is $25.9 million, but if the team decides to move on, it would only cost $2.8 million in dead money.