Sean Pendergast

Vegas Odds on Deshaun Watson Trade Destinations

If Deshaun Watson is traded, there are some intriguing destinations.
If Deshaun Watson is traded, there are some intriguing destinations. Photo by Eric Sauseda
A year ago to the day, Deshaun Watson said this about his head coach Bill O'Brien following a 51-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs, a game in which the Texans blew a 24-0 second quarter lead by halftime:

I repeat — THAT WAS ONE YEAR AGO. It feels like ten lifetimes ago, in no small part because now the Houston Texans are completely sideways with their franchise quarterback, alienating him during the process of arriving at Nick Caserio for the new general manager, and cobbling together a rather uninspiring list of head coaching candidates, a list which does not include Watson's purported favorite, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

So now we are at the stage where it's believed Watson might demand a trade, and if there is smoke in the air, then the betting odds on the direction of said smoke can't be far behind. So without further ado, courtesy of, here are the odds on Deshaun Watson's next team (if indeed, the Texans were to trade him, which admittedly unto itself is a heavy underdog):

New England Patriots (2/1)
Indianapolis Colts (3/1)
Chicago Bears (4/1)
Denver Broncos (5/1)
Washington Football Team (5/1)
New Orleans Saints (10/1)
Detroit Lions (10/1)
Philadelphia Eagles (15/1)
San Francisco 49ers (20/1)
New York Jets (20/1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (25/1)
Atlanta Falcons (30/1)
New York Giants (30/1)
A few thoughts on these odds:

New England is the most narrative driven favorite you could come up with
I see what the oddsmakers are conveying by making New England the favorite — Nick Caserio is the new Texans GM, so it would stand to reason that the former Belichick pupil might wind up doing business with the master. Oh, also, the Patriots are in desperate need of a QB. What gets lost in translation is that there's a good chance Watson is fed up with the whole "New England" vibe, after four years with Bill O'Brien, and Watson's no-trade clause would allow him to veto any deal to a team to which he doesn't want to go.

The only team that would intrigue me, as a Texans fan, isn't on here
There's a good reason the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't on here, I suppose, and that's because their young roster and slew of draft picks in the upcoming draft make for an ideal scenario to take Clemson's Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick. However, what if the Texans offered up Watson for the No. 1 overall pick and some other assets? Would a restart for the Texans built around Lawrence, a  bunch of draft picks, and a bunch of suddenly open cap space be a salvageable consolation prize for Texan fans? I still would rather keep Watson, but for me, the only trade partner that makes any sense is Jacksonville in a deal for Lawrence.

I think there SHOULD be only five teams with a ZERO percent chance of landing Watson, everyone else should be calling the Texans
Deshaun Watson is one of the five best quarterbacks walking planet Earth, so it would stand to reason that even teams with GOOD quarterbacks should look into the available GREAT quarterback. By my count, only five teams in the NFL shouldn't bother picking up the phone. They are as follows:

1. Kansas City — they have the reigning Super Bowl MVP and best QB on the planet
2. Buffalo — Josh Allen has shown enough as a third year, rising phenom to think he is on Watson's level
3. LA Chargers — Justin Herbert just now Rookie of the Year, and has four years left on his rookie deal
4. Seattle — Russell Wilson is a top five QB in his prime
5. Aaron Rodgers — Rodgers is in his late 30s, but is likely the MVP of the league with a window of at least a few more years competing for Super Bowls

Other than that, everyone should be calling the Texans, even Tampa Bay with 43-year-old Tom Brady, and Baltimore with reigning MVP Lamar Jackson.

All of this is, hopefully, just a fun fantasy exercise
In the end, we don't know exactly how angry Watson is because he hasn't spoke on the situation, but the hope is that Caserio and a new head coach can smooth over any bunged up feelings. The problem is that the one entity that is going nowhere, barring a sale of the team, is Cal McNair, and he has yet to make any really good decisions as owner of the team, other than firing Bill O'Brien, which was necessary in large part because of Cal McNair's own decision to make O'Brien the GM.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast