Could the Jets end up with a quarterback other than Deshaun Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans this offseason?
In this trade proposal from Bill Barnwell of ESPN, New York solves their quarterback conundrum in a unique way, reuniting a few members of the 49ers with Jets head coach Robert Saleh.
There's a lot of moving parts to this deal and although New York doesn't move forward with Watson, there are some perks to the idea. Here's the proposal from Barnwell:
49ers send: 12th overall pick in 2021, 2022 first- and second-round picks (to Texans), 2023 third-round pick, S Tarvarius Moore, QB Jimmy Garoppolo (to Jets)
Jets send: QB Sam Darnold (to Texans), 2022 fifth-round pick (to 49ers)
Texans send: QB Deshaun Watson (to 49ers)
Not only would the Jets be able to move on from Sam Darnold here, shipping him to the Texans as their replacement for Watson, but New York would also hold onto their first-round picks from this year's draft (losing only a fifth-round pick in the process).
In a deal to acquire Watson straight up, the Jets would likely need to trade away three first-rounders, if not more. Sure, New York isn't coming out of this with the star the fan base imagined, but keeping all their first-rounders means they can continue to build with their current roster.
Before diving into any other details, this is what Barnwell wrote about the trade (from the perspective of the Jets):
Garoppolo has two years and about $50.4 million remaining on his deal, and given his recent injury history, he doesn't have much trade value beyond a midround pick. He's not much use to a rebuilding Texans team, although Caserio & Co. certainly know him from their time in New England. The Jets would seem like a curious choice, but Robert Saleh just spent three years with Garoppolo (and Moore) in San Francisco. The Jets could buy low on Garoppolo if they don't like any of the quarterbacks in April's draft class and then use the second overall pick on a wide receiver such as Ja'Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith.
Jets fans will remember Garoppolo from his years backing up Tom Brady with the New England Patriots. Say what you will about Garoppolo's durability, but he did take San Francisco to a Super Bowl in 2019, the only full season of his career. The 49ers won 13 games that year, the amount the Jets have won in the last three years combined.
In that campaign, playing in all 16 games, Garoppolo finished with 3,978 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, a 60.8 QBR and 102.0 passer rating. Darnold may still have room to grow, entering his fourth year in the NFL, but he's still a ways away from eclipsing those numbers.
Remember, Saleh is bringing along several coaches from the 49ers staff—including new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur—to join him in New York. Garoppolo is not Watson, and he's already 29, but perhaps Saleh's staff would benefit from familiarity as they install their new offense. Plus, Barnwell projected the Jets would snag safety Tarvarius Moore from the 49ers in the trade as well, bolstering their inexperienced secondary with another familiar face for Saleh.
This certainly won't be the most popular proposal for a fan base that's excited about the prospect of adding Watson—who has already shown interest in joining the Jets—but it's still arguably a step in the right direction.
Besides, Watson has a no-trade clause and may rule out the Jets because of their reputation for dysfunction and how far away they are from postseason contention. If Watson joins the 49ers, as Barnwell writes, they are immediately Super Bowl contenders once again.
MORE ON WATSON:
- Deshaun Watson Trade Proposal: Would Three First Round Picks From Jets Be Enough?
- This Deshaun Watson News Bodes Well For the Jets
- Deshaun Watson's Preferred Trade Destination Is Reportedly the New York Jets
- NFL Insider Says Jets Are in Best Position to Trade For Texans' Deshaun Watson
- Richard Sherman: Deshaun Watson Should 'Head to New York'
For the rest of Barnwell's trade proposals, click here to head to ESPN.