Five Landing Spots for Deshaun Watson
(Photo Credit: Eric Christian Smith)
As a result of the catastrophic failures of the Houston Texans’ front office, it feels like Deshaun Watson’s days in H-Town are numbered. The former national champion has requested a trade, and the Texans have already let one superstar go this month in J.J. Watt.
While Watson is clearly unhappy with the way things have gone down, it is entirely possible that he dons the Texans uniform and finishes his fourth consecutive season as a top-five fantasy quarterback. The odds were stacked against him in 2020, but he did it anyway.
If he gets his wish and finds himself somewhere else, you can safely bet that a healthy Watson cracks the top five again. Assuming Houston decides to part ways with its franchise quarterback, here are five destinations for Watson to take his stellar fantasy production.
With the retirement of Philip Rivers, the Colts will certainly be looking for new options under center. If they felt comfortable starting Jacoby Brissett, I do not think Rivers ever would have signed in Indy. With a once-elite T.Y. Hilton out wide and the rising star Jonathan Taylor in the backfield, the Colts make plenty of sense for Deshaun Watson.
Last season, the Colts surrendered only 21 sacks, which is good for second-fewest in the National Football League. Compare that to the whopping 50 sacks allowed by the Texans, who only trailed the Eagles in that department.
If Watson can produce with one of the worst offensive lines in football, imagine what he can do with one of the best. He will have more time to make plays, both through the air and on the ground. Who knows how willing Houston would be to deal him to a division rival, but there is a lot to like about Deshaun Watson in blue and white.
Everyone has heard the Watson-for-Tagovailoa trade rumors, and even though they have died down, it still makes sense for both parties. The Dolphins took a risk on an injured Tua Tagovailoa in last year’s draft, and he played pretty well as a rookie, guiding them to a 10-win season. But Miami did not seem convinced that he was the answer going down the stretch, rotating him in and out of the mix with Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Insert an established veteran playmaker like Watson, and the Dolphins can hang with the new division powerhouse in the Buffalo Bills. Miami fell in the middle of the pack in terms of sacks allowed last season, so once again, this would be a big improvement for Watson.
The Dolphins have some nice pieces on offense with DeVante Parker, who feels destined to break out sooner or later, young running back duo Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed, and Mike Gesicki, who emerged from 2020 as the sixth-highest scoring fantasy tight end. Miami just missed out on the postseason fun last season, but bringing in Deshaun Watson would be mutually beneficial for both parties.
New York Jets
Another rumor that made the rounds last month was Watson’s desire to play under the new Jets head coach, Robert Saleh. The former 49ers defensive coordinator made a name for himself with some monstrous defensive units in San Francisco, so a revamped Jets defense would allow for Watson to spend a lot more time on the field than he did last year in Houston.
The offense in the Meadowlands is not nearly as attractive as the previous two locations. Backs and receivers have been on a carousel over the last several years, and the offensive line allowed the ninth-most sacks in the NFL last year, but the Jets are high in the draft order and can solidify that O-line.
The main thing here is the opportunity for Watson to log more minutes. He has proven that he does not need a strong offense to thrive, so give him more chances to play and you will see instant improvement for Gang Green.
San Francisco 49ers
Head coach Kyle Shanahan is a wizard. The 49ers endured injury after injury to key player after key player and they still managed to maintain a competitive offense led by Nick Mullens. Hit the upgrade button there, and the 49ers could find themselves in the Super Bowl for the second time in three years.
Deshaun Watson would be a fantasy dream in Shanahan’s offense. Surrounded by the exciting youngster Brandon Aiyuk, the rock-solid tight end George Kittle and speedy-when-healthy Raheem Mostert, a Watson-led 49ers offense would be a force to be reckoned with.
If San Fran can dump Jimmy Garoppolo’s salary, it could reasonably pick up Watson’s and the Niners could go from worst to first in a very competitive NFC West division. As a perennial Deshaun Watson drafter, this is my personal favorite option.
Washington Football Team
After the miserable failure that was the Dwayne Haskins experiment and a remarkable comeback story authored by Alex Smith, Washington needs to come to terms with the fact that it will never go anywhere without a top-tier quarterback. And no, just because Taylor Heinicke almost came away with a win over Tom Brady and the Buccaneers does not mean that he is the answer.
The WFT seemed pretty interested in Matthew Stafford, whom the Lions have already found a suitor for, but its shopping trip needs to take a real look at Deshaun Watson. Pair him with rising fantasy stars Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin and the Football Team has an admirable offense for the first time in years.
Seriously, Washington should leave those two and the young defensive stars off the table, but anything else the Texans want for Deshaun Watson should be given to them. He is the key to becoming the first team to win the NFC East in consecutive seasons since 2004, and the first Washington playoff win since 2006.