The possibility of Deshaun Watson being traded would make the NFL world spin.
It’s been one of the most anticipated trades in recent memory. Now almost a year (if not further) into his displeasure with the Houston Texans franchise, Deshaun Watson wants to be done with Houston and play somewhere else.
Earlier during the season, seven different destinations were ranked for Deshaun Watson to land. However, that list has changed and ballooned to nine different, realistic teams that could all make a run at the embattled Watson.
Before we get to the nine teams that are destinations, it’s worth talking about why there are only nine on that list. This is because 22 of the other teams don’t make the list as their current quarterback situation is taken care of, in the process of being handed to a younger guy on the roster, or have explicitly said that they don’t want anything to do with Watson (such as the New York Giants).
These are ranked from least likely to most, and cap considerations will be taken into effect. Spotrac’s “Manage Roster” tool will be how the calculations are performed. Also, these trades ignore whether or not Watson has waived his no-trade clause for that team or not.
Without further ado, the least likely, yet realistic team that could trade for Deshaun Watson:
9th place: Would the Cardinals do a Kyler Murray-Deshaun Watson swap?
It would be a wild thing to see Deshaun Watson reuniting with DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt in Arizona, Houston Texans fans would most likely despise this move, but there is one caveat to the previous statement.
Would trading Watson for Kyler Murray be the way to go? Especially if the Texans can hire someone like Kevin O’Connell from the L.A. Rams to come in and energize the offense. Here’s the trade:
Arizona is the only NFC West team to have a first-round pick this year, and they could make this trade happen with a base salary restructure of Watson’s contract. But, unfortunately, that would only leave them with roughly $5M in cap space- so Cardinals GM Steve Keim would have a lot of extra work to do to help Arizona keep its championship window open.
Arizona is unlikely to ship Murray somewhere else with one year left on his rookie deal unless his fifth-year option gets exercised. That’s why it’s a win for the Texans here- they could get two years of an electric QB on a rookie deal; that would be interesting to see what kind of magic Murray could make in his home state with a different head coach.
No offensive line help is acquired in this trade as Arizona’s best lineman is Rodney Hudson, and they’re not going to let him go. However, Baker is an excellent replacement for Justin Reid.