Where Deshaun Watson Should Go

As has been made very public in recent weeks, Deshaun Watson wants the hell out of Houston, and no one can blame him. The Houston Texans have been a dumpster fire of an organization since they entered the league in 2002. Ok a dumpster fire may be a little harsh, they've made the playoffs 6 times since 2011, but they've never advanced past the Divisional Round in their history. In fact, they've never finished within a TD in any of their Divisional Round games. Who can forget how they blew a 24-0 lead by halftime in the 2019 Divisional Round game against Kansas City. Oh the joy Bill O'Brien has brought us non Texans fans over the years. The Texans could have made Deshaun a very happy man this offseason, if they had hired the GM and HC candidates he preferred... or even interviewed some of them. Deshaun wanted to be involved in the hiring process and the Texans promised him he would be. This was the perfect opportunity for the organization to keep their franchise QB happy. Instead, like every other good opportunity placed before them, they squandered it. They kept Deshaun in the dark and hired a GM and HC he didn't necessarily approve of. I will put some blame on Deshaun here as for much of the hiring process he was vacationing down in the Caribbean. I don't know how involved you can be from a beachside bar. I digress though. Naturally the man wants out. The Texans have no first round pick, which is the #4 overall, thanks to Mr. O'Brien and really no prospect of improving the team anytime soon. Deshaun's demanded a trade and even though the Texans have expressed 0 interest in moving him I believe it is likely they do. With his no-trade clause Deshaun has complete control over where he goes. So where should he go? I've compiled my list in no particular order.

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are a hot team right now. Coming off a 10-6 campaign last year in which they narrowly missed the playoffs thanks to a very competitive AFC. They have a hot young coaching talent in Brian Flores who the players rally around, and have shown improvement under his first two years at the helm. They touted one of the top defenses in the league last season, and weapons on offense like Mike Gesicki and Davante Parker. The main thing that held them back last year was the QB position. I do not believe Tua Tagovailoa is an NFL quarterback. He struggled with his accuracy and reading defenses last season. He also has a very damning physical feature working against him, he's a lefty. Lefties with the exception of guys like Michael Vick, who was only as successful as he was in no small part due to his mobility, don't typically work out in the NFL. You essentially have to flip the field to suit them, and most teams have not shown the ability or willingness to do so. We saw the potential this offense had when Fitzmagic was running it. I believe had Miami not switched to Tua mid-season the Dolphins would have been in the playoffs.

I mean just look at that play. I think I broke my neck just watching that. I had Miami moneyline in that game and I have never been so thankful to the Gambling Gods before or since. A trade is possible here. The Dolphins own all their picks through 2024, including #4 this year thanks to Houston. They also boast $23 million in cap space to meet the demands of Deshaun's extension when it kicks in. A package of Tua and draft picks should be more than enough to seal the deal here. Adding Deshaun to the roster makes the Dolphins a minimum 10 win team every year, and gives them a chance to compete for the division title with Buffalo.

San Francisco 49ers

I wrote a little bit about this in my blog about the Niners having interest in Kirk Cousins, so I won't repeat myself too much here. I believe the Niners are a great fit for Deshaun. They have offensive weapons all over the place and the defense is a championship caliber defense. The main issue for the Niners is staying healthy, as this past season has shown. The Niners are built to win now and Deshaun is entering the stage of his career where I believe he is ready to lead a team to the promised land. A package of Jimmy G and picks should be close to enough here for the Niners. Because the Niners are outside of the top 10 in this years draft, they may have to add more picks to the deal, or a young player to make a better deal than Miami can offer. Sending Jimmy G's contract to Houston should be more than enough to meet the salary cap demands. I believe this is a great move for San Fran and Deshaun, and would instantly make the Niners a top 3 SB contender.

New York Jets

Deshaun has reportedly expressed a desire to go to New York. From a personal marketing perspective I can see the intrigue. New York is the premier market and media destination in the country. If Deshaun desires to focus on building his own brand and image, then this is a great spot for him. From a football perspective however, I do not see the logic. The Jets are in as bad a situation, if not a worse one than Houston. They have a new coach, minimal talent, and a worse record last year. Any trade would have the Jets sending a boatload of picks to Houston. Picks they desperately need to be able to add talent around Deshaun. This is not a situation like those in San Fran and Miami, where they can afford to send away picks because they already have the talent and rosters needed to win. The only way the Jets could add talent around Deshaun is through free agency. New York has $63 million in cap space. Adding talent through free agency only works to a certain extent. There is only so many max contracts you can sign. Championship caliber teams are built through the draft, with free agency used as a fine tuner if you will, filling the holes and rounding out the roster where the draft cannot. I believe forcing his way to the Jets will be a mistake for Deshaun and a decision he will come to regret. That is unless he just does it for the branding and media purposes. The Jets would be wise to avoiding going all in on a QB as well when the rest of the team needs to be revamped.