Initially, I was against the idea of the 49ers trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The deal would cost the 49ers at least three first round picks and probably six picks total, not to mention all the money Watson would cost the 49ers. He signed a four-year, $160 million extension in September. He's extremely expensive.
But that extension technically does not kick in until 2022. Meaning Watson technically won't earn much cash in 2021 by NFL superstar quarterback standards. So if the 49ers were to trade for him, they'd have to pay him "only" $10.94 million in 2021, or roughly 6 percent of their salary cap space.
A tremendous bargain.
So I've changed my mind. Here's what I would do if I were 49ers general manager:
I would cut Jimmy Garoppolo and create $24 million in cap space. Then I would trade whatever it takes to get Watson so I could pay him $10.94 million next season. And with the money I saved, I would improve the offensive line. And maybe the 49ers would win the Super Bowl. They'd had a terrific chance.
And then in 2022, when Watson would be scheduled to make a whopping $35 million and take up more than 15 percent of the 49ers cap space, I would trade him and recoup all the draft capital I gave up to get him.
Watson would be a one-year rental.
What's more crazy would be paying him 15 percent of the 49ers' cap space. Because no quarterback in the history of free agency has won a Super Bowl while taking up more than 13.1 percent of his team's cap space.
One player never should take up 15 percent of a team's cap space, no matter how great that player is. And Watson isn't even the best quarterback in the league. He's borderline top five.
So rent his services for one season and then ship him out of town. He would be a phenomenal one-year solution at quarterback.