Deshaun Watson to the Patriots.
It's a hot ... well, not even a rumor because a rumor means it came from something or someone, and it hasn't. It's a hot ... well, we're talking about it.
And by all means, let's talk, baby.
None of us in this line of work are nearly as busy as we typically are. I've legitimately already written one column about Watson to the Patriots. Something about a non-Vegas casino giving him odds to be the Patriots starter in 2021? Good enough for me. Let's party.
CBS Sports did a post on what it might take for this all to go down. Watson, is, after all, under the Texans' control for another year, then a fifth-year option, then a possible franchise tag.
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Here's the trade that CBS Sports laid out:
- Patriots receive: QB Deshaun Watson, 2021 sixth-round pick
- Texans receive: 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick, 2021 third-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, OG Joe Thuney
I'd do this trade, but whoops! They rushed it!
The conversation around the Patriots trading for Watson is based on next offseason, not this offseason, for a couple reasons. First off, people will lose their minds in Houston if the Texans trade both DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson in the same offseason.
Secondly, if the Pats have their eye on Watson, their move should be to play out next season with Jarrett Stidham and see what they have at quarterback before deciding to pay an arm and a leg for a superstar.
So let's adjust the timing and come up with our own hypothetical.
CBS Sports got it right with the two first-round pick part (good job, 'preciate you, etc.). Look at trades involving good young quarterbacks — eh, the one the Patriots didn't make, anyway — and high picks are a-flyin'.
When the Broncos traded Jay Cutler to the Bears after his third season, they got back two firsts and then some. Hell, Carson Palmer was 32 when the Raiders traded for him, and they gave up a first and a conditional pick that could have become another first (it became a second).
So a 25-year-old (which is what he'll be next offseason) Watson? Yeah, he's costing two firsts easily. Let's say 2021 — which might be a decent pick if the team struggles in Year 1 without Brady — and 2022.
We can't throw Thuney into the deal because he's currently on the franchise tag and we don't know if the Patriots will have him. Instead, how about a worse player at a position that doesn't matter as much, but for all we know will interest the Texans because they just showed they're dumb enough to trade a good player for David Johnson?
Here's Sony Michel!
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The "logic" here is that Johnson still being good is a tossup, and Michel is young and will have two more years on his rookie deal. Plus, he's a first-round pick so it will make the package look shiny enough.
Let's fill it out with third-round picks in 2021 and 2022, a second-round pick in 2023 and Stidham, bringing the package to...
- Patriots receive: QB Deshaun Watson (and the right to pay him a gajillion dollars)
- Texans receive: First-round pick in 2021, third-round pick in 2021, first-round pick in 2022, third-round pick in 2022, second-round pick in 2023, QB Jarrett Stidham, RB Sony Michel
Steep as hell, right? Well, that's what it should cost to get one of the best players in the league as he's entering his prime.
And just another reminder: The only logic as to why the Texans would trade Deshaun Watson is because they're dumb or Watson hates them. If they are using their brains at all, they do everything they can to keep him.
Don't like the trade? I'd like to now invite ESPN to keep the train rolling and come up with a response to my hypothetical trade, which was a response to CBS Sports' hypothetical trade.
I am so, so bored.