Watson sweepstakes: Rating every team's chances of trading for the star QB
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Deshaun Watson could be on his way out of Houston after reportedly putting in a formal trade request, and almost every team in the NFL ought to at least call the Texans about acquiring the disgruntled star.

Already established as a top-five signal-caller at only 25 years old, Watson is one of the most valuable trade chips in the league. Here's what every club should be prepared to offer, and how feasible a deal is:

Note: Potential offers only listed for teams with a reasonable chance of acquiring Watson.


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Plausibility of trade: 7/10

Possible offer: DE Nick Bosa, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 2021 1st- (No. 12 overall), 2022 1st-round pick

If Kyle Shanahan is growing tired of Garoppolo, as many have ascertained, the 49ers should be all-in on getting this deal done. San Francisco's championship window is open, but windows close quickly in the NFL. The Texans would surely love to add a marquee pass-rusher like Bosa - especially with J.J. Watt potentially on his way out - and restock its bare cupboard of draft picks.


Plausibility of trade: 4/10

After trading two third-round selections and a fourth-rounder to move up one spot in the 2017 draft for Mitchell Trubisky, it would be humiliating for Ryan Pace to ship out another trove of picks for the man he could have had all along. That doesn't mean Pace won't do it, but Bears fans shouldn't hold their breath.


Plausibility of trade: 2/10

Cincinnati could potentially swing a deal that involves Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and draft selections, though the reigning first overall pick's knee injury adds perplexity to an already unlikely scenario.


Plausibility of trade: 1/10

Brandon Beane certainly won't entertain moving Josh Allen after his breakout campaign. Watson may be more consistent than Allen, but we don't see Buffalo parting with draft capital for just a slight (if at all) upgrade at quarterback.


Plausibility of trade: 5/10

Possible offer: LB Bradley Chubb, 2021 1st- (No. 9 overall), 2021 3rd-, 2022 1st-round pick

Watson would immediately stop what's been a revolving door at quarterback for the Broncos in recent years, but Denver would struggle to present the best offer. Unless they're willing to include Chubb in a pick-filled package, the Broncos might as well look elsewhere or resign themselves to another year of Drew Lock.


Plausibility of trade: 2/10

There's no way the Browns veer from the Baker Mayfield plan right after he led them to their first playoff appearance since 2002 and their first playoff win since 1994. In saying that, Watson would be a significant upgrade.


Plausibility of trade: 1/10

Tom Brady is guaranteed $25 million in 2021 and has a no-trade clause in his contract, which makes the Bucs' chances of acquiring Watson closer to none.


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Plausibility of trade: 5/10

Possible offer: QB Kyler Murray, 2021 2nd-round pick

Murray hasn't established himself as an unmovable chip for the Cardinals just yet, and he still has enough upside and contractual affordability to entice the Texans. Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, possesses more potential than most of the passers Houston would target.


Plausibility of trade: 1/10

Following his record-breaking rookie campaign, Justin Herbert is unlikely to be swapped for Watson, even with the franchise entering a new era under Brandon Staley.


Plausibility of trade: 0/10

Kansas City is likely the only team where a deal would result in a clear downgrade at quarterback over the next five years.


Plausibility of trade: 1/10

The Texans aren't going to deal Watson to an AFC South rival, especially one that appears to be a top-tier quarterback away from making a Super Bowl run.


Plausibility of trade: 2/10

Nobody loves making headlines more than Jerry Jones, but even he would be hard-pressed to justify giving away the requisite picks when he could just re-sign Dak Prescott.


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Plausibility of trade: 10/10

Possible offer: QB Tua Tagovailoa, 2021 1st- (No. 3 overall from Texans), 2021 1st- (No. 18), 2022 2nd-round pick

Depending on how the Texans feel about Tagovailoa, the Dolphins could be the most sensible suitor. Tagovailoa didn't shine as a rookie, but he was billed as a generational prospect a year ago. Houston could land a quarterback of the future and get back the pick it traded for Laremy Tunsil, while Miami would net the proven quarterback it needs to contend for a championship.


Plausibility of trade: 2/10

This scenario may only work if Carson Wentz asks for a trade, though the Eagles' roster may already feature his replacement with Jalen Hurts. Howie Roseman is among the league's boldest GMs, but the Eagles simply can't afford Watson given their cap situation.


Plausibility of trade: 6/10

Possible offer: 2021 1st- (No. 4 overall from Texans), 2022 1st-, 2023 1st-round pick

Atlanta is an interesting team in the Watson sweepstakes. A trade featuring multiple high picks could be swung, while Matt Ryan could be moved at a later date since the Falcons can save money via post-June 1 transaction.


Plausibility of trade: 2/10

The Giants have assets - including Daniel Jones and the 11th overall selection this year - to make a deal happen. However, Dave Gettleman is likely too conservative to pull one off, and other clubs should be able to put better offers forward.


Plausibility of trade: 2/10

Inter-division trades, especially for a franchise quarterback, are extremely unlikely, though Jacksonville stands a slightly better chance than the Colts or Titans. The Jags could offer Houston the most appealing package possible if they're willing to give up this year's first overall pick, but we don't see it happening.


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Plausibility of trade: 10/10

Possible offer: QB Sam Darnold, 2021 1st- (No. 2 overall), 2021 1st- (No. 23 from Seahawks), 2022 1st-round pick

Thanks to the Jamal Adams trade last summer, the Jets have four first-round picks over the next two drafts. They could easily part with a few of them, and might as well throw in Darnold, who the Texans could evaluate for a year before deciding on how to proceed in 2022.


Plausibility of trade: 5/10

Possible offer: QB Matthew Stafford, 2021 1st- (No. 7 overall), 2022 1st-, 2021 3rd-round pick

Stafford - who is also reportedly seeking a trade after mutually deciding to part ways with the Lions - is still an above-average passer, and the Texans could always flip him later if they enter a full rebuild. However, Detroit's roster contains too many holes for the front office to sell the farm right now, so the Lions are likely better off targeting a quarterback early in the draft.


Plausibility of trade: 1/10

The Packers aren't ruthless enough to offer Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love, even though it would extend their championship window by a decade or so.


Plausibility of trade: 8/10

Possible offer: WR D.J. Moore, QB Teddy Bridgewater, S Jeremy Chinn, 2021 1st- (No. 8 overall), 2021 2nd-round pick

The Panthers have been mentioned as a team to watch, but they would have to include players to compensate for a lack of draft ammunition. Moore and Chinn are young building blocks, and Carolina shouldn't bother picking up the phone unless it's willing to include both in a deal.


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Plausibility of trade: 6/10

Possible offer: 2021 1st- (No. 15 overall), 2021 2nd-, 2021 3rd-, 2022 1st-, 2022 2nd-round pick

It would be very anti-Bill Belichick to trade his top three picks this year and top two choices next year for one player, but he's never needed a quarterback as desperately as he does right now. With his former personnel man Nick Caserio now the GM in Houston, perhaps Belichick can use the familiarity to broker a deal, the likes of which would put New England back on the Super Bowl map.


Plausibility of trade: 5/10

Possible offer: QB Derek Carr, 2021 1st- (No. 17 overall), 2021 2nd-, 2022 1st-round pick

Another Carr in Houston adds a unique quirk here, but this type of deal has Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock written all over it. Vegas would need plenty of ammunition to outbid other suitors, but adding a franchise passer to a division that features Mahomes and Herbert may be too good of an opportunity to pass up.


Plausibility of trade: 1/10

Nobody adores blockbuster trades more than Les Snead, but without a first-round pick or a way to escape Jared Goff's contract, there's just no way for the GM to get this done.


Plausibility of trade: 1/10

Lamar Jackson for Deshaun Watson, who says no? The Texans say no, which is why this won't happen.


Plausibility of trade: 1/10

Watson would be a logical replacement for Drew Brees if the latter retires, except the Saints are already nearly $100 million over the salary cap for 2021. Mickey Loomis and Co. have payroll problems to figure out before they can start discussing Watson and his $170-million contract.


Plausibility of trade: 3/10

Without first-round picks in 2021 or 2022, the Seahawks don't appear to have the firepower to work out a trade with Houston. We aren't sold that Pete Carroll would swap Wilson for Watson, either.


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Plausibility of trade: 5/10

Possible offer: DL Stephon Tuitt, 2021 1st- (No. 24 overall), 2021 2nd-, 2022 1st-, 2023 1st-round pick

A star quarterback away from being a perennial Super Bowl contender, Pittsburgh could throw everything at Houston. Since their picks are near the end of each round, they'll need to include more of them. If the Steelers want to get crazy, they can look to expand the deal and bring J.J. Watt to the Steel City, where brothers T.J. and Derek reside. Any Watson deal will take a lot of work, though, as the Steelers face cap issues entering the new league year.


Plausibility of trade: 1/10

Similar to the Colts and Jaguars, we simply don't foresee a franchise quarterback being moved to another AFC South squad. It is fun to picture Watson and Derrick Henry in the same backfield, though.


Plausibility of trade: 2/10

The Vikings seem content with Kirk Cousins and focused on adding to the infrastructure around him. If they change their mind, they'll need to be prepared to part with Justin Jefferson and a massive collection of picks, which would leave them cap-strapped with an aging core.

Washington Football Team

Plausibility of trade: 6/10

Possible offer: 2021 1st- (No. 19 overall), 2021 2nd-, 2022 1st-, 2023 1st-round pick

Washington may be a quarterback away from championship contention, and owner Dan Snyder has never shied away from major moves, but the Football Team lacks assets. Much like the Broncos, Washington would have to offer a boatload of draft capital just to keep the Texans from hanging up the phone.

Watson sweepstakes: Rating every team's chances of trading for the star QB
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