On Monday’s ESPN Daily episode with Bill Barnwell and Pablo Torres, the two discussed which landing spot they like the best for current Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, who, as of Sunday, Adam Schefter reported has likely played his last snap with the Texans.
Here’s what Barnwell had to say:
I can tell you that I don’t love either of the most obvious destinations for Deshaun Watson. The Dolphins are the easy pick. They have the draft picks. They have the cap space to trade for Watson. They have the possible quarterback to trade in Tua Tagovailoa.
They’re going to have their third offensive coordinator in three years. They don’t have very much in the way of weapons. And they’re still a middling line after sending Larmey Tunsil, coincidentally, to the Texans.
The Jets have that franchise left tackle in Mehki Becton, but they have a bottom-five roster elsewhere and they would trade away most of their future draft picks just to acquire Watson. It would be very similar to where he was in Houston where they have a good top-level talent core, but very little around those four or five star pieces.
Remember, Watson has a no-trade clause and would have to agree to whichever team Houston attempted to deal their franchise QB to.
Watson has reportedly stated that he likes the culture Brian Flores has built in Miami, and that’s the reason he’d be fine with going to the Dolphins. Looking for an organization that has created a favorable culture for its players, Deshaun?
San Francisco’s culture is one of its biggest selling points. The players always rave about how they’re treated and the honesty and respect that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch give them. Both are “real,” and that’s appreciated in this business.
Barnwell believes the Colts would serve as the best landing spot for Watson but believes Houston is smart enough not to trade him within the division where they’d face him twice a year. Bill O’Brien ain’t walking through that door.
Here’s more Barnwell:
Given the various options. Given who has the cap space, given who is likely to make this sort of deal, I like the 49ers. As a team who has a great offensive coach, weapons across the board, and a solid offensive line.
The Niners were a Super Bowl team last year with Jimmy Garoppolo. Watson would be a major upgrade. On top of that, we know how much the Texans love former Patriots. This would be a chance for them to add another one if they do decide to give into Waston’s wishes and hit the reset button.
It’s still early as the Texans just hired a general manager and are without a head coach.
Aside from that, Watson is in control. He’s reportedly not been returning any phone calls from Houston and is unhappy with how the Texans have gone about this offseason and in recent offseasons.
Watson has a no-trade clause and could withhold his services for as long as he wants. I know many people don’t like the players being in control, but this feels like as close to an NBA situation with Watson getting to choose his destination, and I love it.
This is going to be the story of the offseason. Houston has set up a virtual interview on Monday with Chiefs OC Eric Bienemy, but is it too little too late? The 49ers should monitor the Watson situation every step of the way.