The Jets had a chance to draft Deshaun Watson four years ago and took safety Jamal Adams instead. They might not want to make the mistake of passing on Watson again.
It’s a totally different Jets regime now, one that’s hungry to put together a perennial winner. Trading for Watson would greatly improve the Jets’ chances of becoming one, and the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback soon could be available.
Watson has asked the Texans to trade him, according to multiple reports. This hardly came as a surprise, given the countless reports of his unhappiness since Houston’s season ended. The most recent reports also indicated that Watson made his request weeks ago before it became public on Thursday.
The Texans have options, and they surely have received and will receive plenty of calls about Watson, who is only 25.
Watson will have options, too. When he signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension in September, it included a no-trade clause, so if the Texans decide to trade him, he would have to agree to join that team.
There are no guarantees that Houston will move him. The Texans are under new leadership. They hired a new general manager, Nick Caserio, and are set to hire David Culley to be their next head coach. To this point, they have shown no indications that they want to part with their best player. It might require an offer that Caserio can’t refuse.
Jets general manager Joe Douglas undoubtedly has made a call to the Texans. The Jets have been linked to Watson because of the slew of assets that Douglas has available to make a trade, including Sam Darnold.
The hiring of Robert Saleh as coach made the Jets appealing to Watson, according to the Miami Herald.
The newspaper reported that Watson would prefer to be traded to the Jets, who are coming off a 2-14 season.
The Dolphins also have been attached to Watson. Like the Jets, they have assets they could move, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who had an up-and-down rookie season. The Dolphins certainly have appeal. They’re more ready to contend than the Jets are and Florida has no state income tax.
A number of other teams could offer Watson a more competitive roster than the Jets can, but those teams might not own the draft picks and flexibility that the Jets have.
What the Jets acquired when they traded the disgruntled Adams to Seattle last year could help them land Watson. Douglas received a first-round pick this year and next year, as well as a third-round pick in this draft.
That’s a huge haul for a safety. Imagine what it will take for Houston to trade Watson, who led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards and threw a career-high 33 touchdown passes.
The Jets have two first-round picks in this draft (Nos. 2 and 23), and five in the first three rounds. Next year, the Jets have two No. 1s and four picks in the first three rounds. Some have suggested that the Jets include third-year nose tackle Quinnen Williams in a trade for Watson, but he’s expected to be an anchor of Saleh’s defense.
The Jets should be able to put together an impressive package, but Douglas won’t want to give up too much. The Jets are a team that needs major upgrades at many positions, not just quarterback.