The drama surrounding the Houston Texans and quarterback DeShaun Watson continues to progress, as the star player has now formally requested a trade from the team, according to multiple media reports including NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Watson is, according to reports over the past few weeks, upset with the direction of the Texans and feels betrayed when he was led to believe his inputs would be included in the team’s search for a new head coach and general manager, but that he was ignored throughout the process. Watson has a no-trade clause which he would have to waive if a deal were to be made - a fact that allows him to ultimately pick where he lands should a trade happen.
Reports have indicated he would like to join either the Miami Dolphins or New York Jets. Both teams also have multiple first-round picks this year, which could entice the Texans, who do not have a selection early in this year’s draft after sending their first- and second-round selections to the Dolphins last year. Miami currently has the third-, 18th-, 36th-, and 50th-overall picks, which could be used as part of any trade. They also have their first- and second-round picks past this year’s draft.
The Jets have the second-, 23rd-, and 34th-overall picks this year, plus two first-round picks next year.
For the Dolphins, the move would be interesting as the team has already confirmed second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as their starter for next season. After using the fifth-overall pick last season, Miami moving on from Tagovailoa would be giving up on a young quarterback fairly quickly. If they can land a three-time Pro Bowl, 25-year-old quarterback who just led the league in passing yards despite a struggling team that fired their head coach and GM, it would not be a huge shock, however.
It should really just come down to price. The Texans are going to want a huge haul for Watson. There is no reason to think, even with Watson’s no-trade clause leverage, the Texans are not going to be looking for multiple first-round picks over the next few years.
There have been reports that the Texans are not high on Tagovailoa as the replacement for Watson, which could allow Miami to use him in a separate trade to recoup any picks lost this year. But, they could also be stuck without any leverage if teams know they have to move Tagovailoa following a deal for Watson.
Any trade, including a deal involving Watson, cannot be officially completed until the start of the new league year in March. Teams could agree on all details prior to then.