Deshaun Watson Trade Rumors: QB Prefers Move to Jets over Dolphins

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson reportedly favors a trade to the New York Jets rather than the Miami Dolphins.

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Watson has told people he wants to move to the AFC East, and while the Jets and Dolphins both interest him, the Jets are atop his list of potential landing spots.

Watson's preference largely has to do with New York's hiring of Robert Saleh as its new head coach, per Salguero. Watson is reportedly such a big fan of Saleh that he wanted the Texans to target him for their head coaching vacancy.

The speculation regarding a potential Watson trade has built up over the past two weeks because of an apparent lack of trust between Watson and the Texans.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was one of many who reported Watson was unhappy with the organization after it hired former New England Patriots executive Nick Caserio as its new general manager without consulting him.

It is unclear if the relationship between Watson and the Texans can be repaired should the team hire the head coach he favors, but if it can't be fixed, the Jets make sense as a landing spot.

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New York hasn't reached the playoffs since 2010 and hasn't had a winning record since 2015, but an elite quarterback such as Watson could change that.

Watson, 25, is coming off the best statistical season of his career, as he completed 70.2 percent of his passes for an NFL-best 4,823 yards to go along with 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He also rushed for 444 yards and three scores.

Despite that, the Texans were one of the worst teams in the NFL with a 4-12 record that was the result of a poor defense and the absence of a strong running game.

The Jets have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball, especially when it comes to adding offensive weapons, but Watson would be a great start.

And New York would not only give Watson a chance to play under Saleh but also put him in a division that is relatively weak aside from the Buffalo Bills, who went 13-3 and will play the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

The New England Patriots dominated the AFC East for two decades, but they are on the decline, and while Miami finished 10-6 this season, it is highly questionable whether it can win big with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback.

As for the Texans, they stand to get a substantial trade package from the Jets should they trade Watson.

New York could offer Houston the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, quarterback Sam Darnold and perhaps even more.

Houston could use that pick to select any quarterback in the draft not named Trevor Lawrence, or if the organization likes Darnold and his potential, it could tab the best player at any other position.

Darnold is just 13-25 as a starter in three seasons, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio of 45-to-39 leaves plenty to be desired, but he was the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft and is still just 23 years old.

If the Texans have no hope of patching things up with Watson and moving forward with him as their franchise quarterback, they could do much worse than Darnold.