Richard Sherman is trying to recruit star quarterback Deshaun Watson for the Jets. They could end up being teammates.
Sherman, speaking on the "The Cris Collinsworth Podcast," said Watson should do everything he can to get out of Houston and force a trade to the Jets.
"If I was Deshaun, I’d get out of there as quickly as possible," Sherman said. "I’d head to New York on the first thing smoking. The Jets."
Sherman played for new Jets coach Robert Saleh in Seattle and San Francisco. The three-time All-Pro cornerback has been effusive in his praise for Saleh as a coach and a leader of men. Sherman, 32, is a free agent this offseason. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Jets showed interest in him or if that interest is mutual because of Saleh.
Watson, 25, is unhappy with the Texans and could seek a trade.
Houston just hired a new general manager, Nick Caserio, and are in the process of searching for a coach. Watson wanted input on the Texans general manager and head coach search, and reportedly was upset that Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy wasn’t in their initial round of interviews. The Texans have since interviewed Bieniemy.
Watson reportedly also wanted the Texans to interview Saleh. That didn’t happen
The Texans hope that they can keep Watson and keep him happy. If they can’t there will be no shortage of teams interested in the star quarterback.
The Jets and Dolphins have been two of the teams linked to Watson. They have plenty of assets to facilitate a trade.
The Jets have two first-round picks in this draft (Nos. 2 and 23) and two next year as well. The Dolphins also have two first-round picks this year (Nos. 3 and 18) and two second-rounders (Nos. 36 and 50). Picks 3 and 36 came to the Dolphins in a 2019 trade for tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Both AFC East teams also have young quarterbacks that could be included in a trade, Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa. Reportedly, Miami is a preferred destination for Watson, who has a no-trade clause in his contract and would have to agree to go to a new team.
The Dolphins just missed the playoffs this season, so they’re further along than the Jets. But Sherman believes the Jets should be first on Watson’s list. With him, he believes they could build a contender.
"It would be the most beautiful [thing]," Sherman said. "Decent offensive line. They’d have to find threats. They’d have to find some offensive weapons. But I think there would be a lot more people excited to be there.
"I think the free-agency market this year is going to be oversaturated because of the salary cap, but that’s what I would do. I’d be out of there on the first thing smoking."
Watson, a three-time Pro Bowler, led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards this season. He threw 33 touchdown passes and seven interceptions, but Houston went only 4-12.
He led the Texans to the postseason the previous two seasons. But the Texans traded star receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona last offseason, which was the start of Watson’s unhappiness with the organization. It’s only grown.
"They’re saying he’s not answering any texts, any calls," Sherman said. "I wouldn’t either. He’s done everything. He’s taking a beating for you guys and played efficiently . . . His level of play didn’t drop with a bad team."
Jets general manager Joe Douglas has shown patience and prudence, and resisted making the splash move. He may not want to mortgage too much when the Jets have holes all over the field.
But Douglas has said it’s important to have the flexibility to make a big move when it becomes available. If a franchise quarterback like Watson becomes available, the Jets have to explore it.