Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is in a unique position.
News leaked on Thursday that the 25-year-old officially asked Houston to trade him. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network was the first to report the news.
Watson signed a four-year, $156 million extension last September that included a no-trade clause.
That gives the three-time Pro Bowler some leverage in potential trade talks. He'd have to waive his no-trade clause for a deal to be completed, which means Watson has some control of his next destination.
Many teams are expected to be interested, but he can block any deal.
Watson has his eyes on the AFC East according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
"Watson this week told people the Jets are his top preference among the teams he’d like to be traded to because they hired Robert Saleh to be their coach and Watson values Saleh so much he wanted the Texans to interview him for their vacant head coach job," Salguero wrote last week. "Watson confirmed reports, circulated for several weeks in national media, he’d also welcome playing for the Dolphins but said that is his second choice at this time."
Both the Jets and the Dolphins have the ammo to get Watson. They have the second and third picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, respectively.
They also have young quarterbacks in Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa that could interest the Texans in a potential trade.
Watson would make the Dolphins a potential Super Bowl contender. He would also give the Jets their first superstar quarterback since Brett Favre, who was only in town for one season (2008).
Chad Pennington was serviceable before that, but New York's last true star quarterback was Joe Namath.
Watson is considered a top-5 signal-caller in the NFL. If either team can land him in a trade, then they should do it.
Those aren't the only two teams that have caught Watson's eye. The Carolina Panthers are also on his radar according to Jason Mcintyre of Fox Sports.
"I had somebody influential in the league text me and say, I know you want him on the Jets. Colin, the team I've heard is the Carolina Panthers are a deep sleeper for Deshaun Watson," McIntyre said last week on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. "Apparently, [he] is telling some folks he would not mind going home. He grew up in Atlanta, about four hours from Carolina and Matt Rhule has set up a pretty good foundation there in Carolina. They have a lot of good offensive weapons. Just keep an ear out for Carolina."
It's rare for a quarterback of Watson's talent to potentially be on the market, especially at his age. There are plenty of teams that would love to have him, but he has leverage going into the offseason.
For betting odds on Watson's next destination, go here.
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