NFL Insider on Deshaun Watson: 49ers Don't Seem Willing to Trade 'King's Ransom'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) kneels / sits on the field in frustration during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Matt Patterson/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly unwilling to trade a "king's ransom" to acquire Deshaun Watson or move up in the draft to replace Jimmy Garoppolo. 

Ted Nguyen of The Athletic wrote the 49ers seem to be committed to Garoppolo being "their guy" in 2021. That tracks with previous comments made by general manager John Lynch, who has indicated the team has no plans of moving on from Garoppolo this offseason.

Garoppolo has missed 23 games over the last three seasons, but Lynch said he believes the team can win with him under center. The 49ers are 22-8 with Garoppolo starting and 7-27 with another quarterback since his arrival.  

"Being available is a big part of this thing," Lynch said on the Eye Test for Two podcast"So we—probably as a stated goal—we have to insulate ourselves better. We got to have better options if he's not there. I've watched people go through this in their careers where they struggled early. It happened to me early, and then I went eight years without missing a practice. So I believe things can happen, and I believe they will for him. I really believe that Jimmy is our guy."

Watson reportedly requested a trade from the Houston Texans this offseason after a falling out with the organization over personnel moves. The Texans have publicly maintained they have no interest in trading the Pro Bowler, but they signed Tyrod Taylor to a one-year contract with up to $12 million earlier this week—seemingly insurance for if they move on from Watson, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 49ers have been seen as a potential fit due to Garoppolo's struggles to stay healthy and his relatively middling performance when on the field. Watson, by contrast, is one of the NFL's premier passers and put together the best season of his career in 2020 despite Houston trading away DeAndre Hopkins.

It's possible Watson's trade market may be affected by a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him this month. Watson released a statement Tuesday denying the allegations, saying he looks forward to "clearing my name."