The Houston Texans have a problem, to put it likely. The aftermath of the Bill O’Brien era has Houston looking more pitiful than they ever have. This team looked less pathetic before they even had any players. Nobody wants to play in Houston and the why behind it is clear. They have a new coach now, they’ve traded away all of their talent for pennies on the dollar, and there is an absence of talent across the depth chart. With the team’s release of J.J. Watt, the Texans a Deshaun Watson trade is one of the very few options they have to obtain some draft assets.
Watson has recently been very open that he wants out of Houston. FlurrySports has been talking about Watson trade destinations since January. However, a lot has changed in the league since then, including Watson formally submitting a trade request.
With no mend of the relationship in sight, a Deshaun Watson trade appears very likely. These are the three most likely destinations for him.
Deshaun Watson Trade Destinations
Deshaun Watson wants to win and he wants talent around him. Unfortunately for him, he’s not in charge of where he ends up. One of the most likely destinations for Watson is the Carolina Panthers. According to Panthers insider David Newton: “The Panthers will do whatever it takes to get Deshaun Watson, and that includes giving up three first-round draft picks and Christian McCaffrey.”
If the Texans somehow pass on this offer or anything similar to this from Carolina, the NFL needs to actually take over the team on their own and move them to a new city. A top-five running back for a quarterback who wants out is a steal in itself. Add in a couple first-round picks that they so desperately need, and this is an absolute haul.
Carolina was only 5-11 last season, but the record doesn’t do them justice. They lost at New Orleans by three, at Kansas City by two and at Green Bay by eight. Replace Teddy Bridgewater, who could only muster 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, with a generational talent like Watson, and this team is in business.
San Francisco 49ers
Don’t be fooled by their 6-10 record. This San Francisco 49ers team is still extremely good. To say they were plagued by the injury bug might be the understatement of the season. They were outscored over all 16 games by just 14 points and played in the toughest division in the NFL. To even hit six wins is impressive.
Make no mistake, this defense will be back in full force next season. This team is only one year removed from a Super Bowl appearance. They may have lost that game, but they were in full control until late when their offense sputtered out. That’s where the addition of Deshaun Watson can come in. The 49ers are currently $17 million plus under the cap and, with some more cuts, can create even more room if needed. If Deshaun wants to win, this would be the place he could do it.
Houston may be wary to work with the Miami Dolphins after how their last deal turned out, but they may not have any other options. Miami makes arguably the most sense out of any team on this list. The Dolphins are often discounted because of their laughable recent history, but make no mistake, this team would be a contender and arguably an AFC favorite if they can land Watson. Last season, the Dolphins went 10-6 and missed the playoffs by a single game. They also had Tua Tagovailoa as their starter for 10 games.
The Miami defense was sixth in points against in the entire NFL. They were fifth realistically, as the Washington Football team played six games against the Giants, Eagles and a Dak-less Cowboys. Add an elite-caliber quarterback, and you now have a real chance. Don’t forget, their trade with the Texans is the reason they also have the No. 3 and No. 18 picks in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. If they could land Watson, they could easily take an elite receiver in DeVonta Smith with the third pick. If they wanted, the Dolphins could also make their supporting cast absolutely lethal in free agency, as one of the few teams with plenty of money.