There’s a long road ahead before the Houston Texans choose to trade Deshaun Watson. Maybe they’ll find a way to turn things around reconcile with their franchise quarterback. But in the meantime, it’s fun to speculate about where Watson could move to — and which teams might be best fit to add him.
ESPN’s Mike Clay ranked his top five destinations for Watson from a fantasy football perspective, and the New Orleans Saints topped his list. Between an elite play caller in Sean Payton and a stellar supporting cast in Michael Thomas and Alvin kamara, he sees a lot to like for Watson in New Orleans. Here’s some of what he wrote to explain the match:
“Over the past decade, Sean Payton’s offenses have averaged 3.2 touchdowns per game during the 123 regular-season games in which he called the plays. That’s best in the NFL among playcallers with at least 40 games called. Payton has obviously benefited from the presence of Hall of Famer Drew Brees during most of that sample, but he obviously maximized Brees’ ability, and we’d expect the same with a star like Watson.
There are some questions here in terms of targets, but Watson would have high-volume stars Thomas (in the de facto DeAndre Hopkins role) and Kamara as his priority options. The likes of Sanders and young TE Adam Trautman are also potential difference-makers.”
Of course, the counterpoint to this pickup would be what the Saints would give up to acquire Watson. The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain suggested a trade package would include multiple first- and second-round picks plus several defensive starters, which would leave the cupboard awful bare in New Orleans. The Saints are already short on draft assets in 2021 with only their first-, second-, and fourth-round picks in hand, and their defense is going to take several big hits with Trey Hendrickson, Marcus Williams, Sheldon Rankins, and Alex Anzalone hitting free agency.
But the opportunity to add a 25-year old franchise quarterback is worth that price, if not more. Especially with Drew Brees expected to make his retirement announcement in the near future. It’s certainly something I’d like to see the Saints explore. If the Texans continue to implode, maybe the Saints can put an offer on the table.