This Could Take the Jets Out Of the Deshaun Watson Sweepstakes

The Texans are reportedly asking for two first-round picks, two later-round selections and multiple defensive starters for Deshaun Watson. Does New York have what it takes to make that deal?
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If it took two first-round picks, a third-rounder and Jared Goff for the Rams to acquire Matthew Stafford from the Lions, then what is Deshaun Watson worth?

While it makes sense to compare this weekend's blockbuster trade to what it might cost the Jets to acquire Watson, a report on Sunday says the Stafford trade won't impact Houston's asking price for their star.

"The Rams-Lions trade will have nothing to do with a Watson trade if the Texans do it," John McClain of the Houston Chronicle tweeted. "They'll want 2 ones, 2 twos and 2 young defensive starters, at the least."

What the Jets Can Learn From the Rams Trading For Matthew Stafford

New York can afford to trade away a pair of first-round picks, there's no question about that. They've arguably got enough draft capital to go up to three, if not four, first-rounders if they want. It gets dicey, however, when you start to include young defensive players that the Jets have already started to build around.

It's hard to imagine New York's new head coach Robert Saleh, along with his fresh coaching staff, would be willing to trade away someone like defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. He's got to be part of the reason why Saleh took this job in the first place. 

Other than Williams, the Jets are limited in who they can offer that would have more value than an early-round selection. Perhaps Bryce Hall or Ashtyn Davis? Those are two defensive backs entering their second year that got plenty of reps last season, showing starting potential. Defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi could be an option as well since he took a big leap in 2020 and is only 26. 

Another player that would be tempting in a trade is Marcus Maye, the 27-year-old safety that blossomed this season as a leader in New York. Nonetheless, Maye is a free agent and the Jets are focused on re-signing him. 

Bottom line is that New York will likely need to be willing to part ways with more than just a sizable package of top draft picks to get this hypothetical deal done with the Texans. As you factor in multiple first-rounders, as well as key contributors on the defensive side of the ball, at what point does this become too much for the Jets to give up? Even for a player as talented as Watson, that's a question Saleh, general manager Joe Douglas and the team's ownership need to ask. 

If it would cost the Jets their brightest star on defense in addition to all those picks, maybe New York would be better served building around Sam Darnold or starting fresh with either Justin Fields or Zach Wilson with the No. 2 pick? 

Then again, Watson has proven his worth as one of the best quarterbacks in the league, a phenom that can turn a franchise around instantly and bring more talent to the organization in the long run.

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