What Blocks Texans From Trading Watson For Stafford?

The Detroit Lions are going to try to trade QB Matthew Stafford. The Houston Texans are being forced to consider trading QB Deshaun Watson. So, what's the problem here?
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Allow me to introduce myself as the moron who recently spent a week explaining to you, Dear Reader, why the Houston Texans would never be "football-suicidal'' enough to trade Deshaun Watson.

"Never-say-never'' is now not just a bumper-sticker slogan; it's my new way of life. Which brings us to the Detroit Lions agreeing with Matthew Stafford that it's time to trade the star QB.

And to the notion that Houston could trade the unhappy Watson for him.

There are real attractions to Stafford. At 32, he's sustained some wear and tear (playing for the Lions will do that to you). But he still has two years remaining on his contract, with the Lions having to eat $19 million in dead money in a trade while the new team gets Stafford for $20 million in 2021 and $23 million in ’22.

That's half the going rate for a standout QB. A bargain, really. And if you're Houston and you must trade Watson, a Pro Bowl-level replacement for half the price would be a "get.''

Additionally, Houston would surely net something else, given that the gifted Watson is just 25. Think about it: If the gossiped-about price for a Watson trade is two (or three) first-round picks, the Texans should get Stafford plus a premium pick. (The Lions are in the Nos. 7 and 41 slots in the April NFL Draft.)

Sidebar: Oddly, The Athletic has a story on this subject that mentions this trade won't happen (agree) because Houston doesn't own a first- or second-round pick this year. Disagree there; do they think the Texans would be giving Watson and premium picks (if they had them) for a lesser, older player in Stafford? Nonsense. Houston is the team in this pipe dream who would be getting the player and change.

READ MORE: Is It True Texans QB Deshaun Has Two Preferred Trade Destinations?

Meanwhile, I guarantee people who write about this idea will mention that Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, would be "going back home to Texas'' in such a swap. He did indeed go to high school in Highland Park (Dallas), but that's not exactly a suburb of Houston.

More important: While Stafford, who this year started all 16 games and finished with 4,084 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions, might get the benefit of working with Detroit on a trade (more-likely-than-Houston spots would seem to include Washington, Indianapolis, New England, the Jets, Denver and San Francisco), the "work-with'' relationship between the Texans and Watson has a different dynamic.

Why? Because for some reason I never could figure out, Bill O'Brien and Jack Easterby, last fall, forged a new contract extension with Watson that on top of everything else, gave him a fairly rare no-trade clause.

And there is where I break my own new "never-say-never'' rule. What prevents Stafford from coming to Houston in exchange for Deshaun is that Watson has the power to say "no'' to going to Detroit.

Which, as a sane young man, is what he surely would say.

CONTINUE READING: Deshaun Wants Texans Trade - No Matter Who The Coach Is