Happy Houston Texans day, apparently. We’ve discussed the possibility of the Niners signing recently released JJ Watt. Is it going too far to say that acquiring Deshaun Watson in a trade is more likely than signing Watt?
The puzzle pieces are starting to come together. NBC Sports Matt Maiocco, somewhat out of left field, wrote a piece about how he feels anybody on the 49ers roster is on the table when it comes to trading for a franchise QB in Watson. It felt like Matt wanted to go out of his way to drop that nugget. I haven’t been around long, but I’ve been around long enough to know Matt doesn’t do that just for the heck of it.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was on ‘Get Up’ Friday morning and said that Watson has a list of teams he’s interested in, and while Fowler didn’t get the entire list of teams, the Denver Broncos and 49ers are two of them:
.@JFowlerESPN from a source:— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 12, 2021
"Deshaun Watson has a list of teams he's 'intrigued by' ... I didn't get all the teams, but I was told that the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers are two of them. ... I was told the Jets, 'eh probably not.'" pic.twitter.com/8YOmTbF3zw
It’s not surprising that the 49ers are interested, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that Watson wants to play for a play-caller like Kyle Shanahan or an organization as successful as the 49ers. Watson has publicly stated that he loves Robert Saleh, so you have to imagine he’s heard great things about the Niners as a team.
Back to Maiocco, and tying this in with what Fowler said. Houston has made it abundantly clear that they have no intentions of trading Watson. Why would they? Who cares what Watson does on social media or how upset he is with you. He’s your QB. With that said, you also have to be a realist and assume Watson won’t move off his initial stance of not wanting to play for you anytime soon.
Knowing all of that, if you’re John Lynch, dangling a carrot of Fred Warner or Nick Bosa in front of Cal McNair and the Texans' front office is a way to get the trade talks going. Houston said they wanted two young stars. Well, they’re not getting both of Warner and Bosa. Nice try. But one of those players, for Watson? A 25-year-old who is a franchise QB? The answer is easy, and that’s yes.
I understand the resistance to giving up one of your star defenders but think about what you are getting back. Warner may save a few points per game. Watson adds double-digit points per game. If you’re interested, I got into a debate about this on Twitter Friday morning.
This move would be more about acquiring Watson than losing anybody else. Your defense becomes less important with Watson under center. You no longer have to manufacture offense. You also don’t have to worry about getting stops every time against the league's best teams as your offense no longer has the ceiling on it.
Losing Warner would hurt. Losing Bosa would suck. Acquiring Watson would make them a distant memory by the fourth game of the season after the Niners are leading the league in every offensive metric, and the defense continues to be good enough.
Who knows if Houston will end up trading Watson, but if the 49ers are interested and they know Watson is as well, trying to hammer out a deal before free agency would make the most sense. Could you imagine how easy it would be to sell an unrestricted free agent to come to the Bay Area now that Watson is on board? You could perhaps get Mr. Watt to join Watson, too.