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Will Deshaun Watson ask for a trade?

Mike Florio is hearing rumors of Deshaun Watson considering asking the Texans for a trade depending on who Houston picks to be its head coach.

The Texans have suggested that they’ll listen to quarterback Deshaun Watson when hiring a coach. But what if they ultimately don’t hire the person he’d like to be coached by?

Rumors already are circulating, and we’ve already heard them from multiple different people, that Watson has quietly broached with teammates the possibility of requesting a trade. If that’s happening, it may just be a strategic effort to ensure his views are respected by ownership. Regardless, it raises the stakes and crosses a bridge and potentially sets the foundation for Watson eventually to decide that he’d like to continue his career elsewhere.

We can already hear the reaction. “He just signed a new contract, the cap charge would be crippling!

Take a look at the contract. Trading him would result in a cap charge of $21.6 million. The Herschel-sized haul of draft picks that a Deshaun Watson trade would generate would more than justify it.

It’s too early to think about where he’d potentially be traded. It’s not too early to make a list of teams that would possibly clamor to get him. The Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Raiders, Broncos, Washington, Eagles, Bears, Lions, Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Buccaneers (if Tom Brady is one and done), and 49ers are the most obvious.

Other teams that on the surface don’t need a quarterback would be wise to at least consider the possibility of an upgrade.

As the Texans decide on their next coach (and it presumably will be someone represented by Bob LaMonte, for reasons to be addressed later today), keep an eye on the possibility that Watson will respond by making it known privately, and possibly publicly, that he’s ready to move on and move out.