Let’s get weird.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell went through a slew of trade proposals, 17 to be specific, that involved Houston Texans, QB Deshaun Watson. Barnwell had some wild trades in this article that were entertaining. One involved a three-team trade where the 49ers landed Aaron Rodgers after sending No. 12, a ‘22 first-round pick, a ‘22 second-round pick, and Jimmy Garoppolo (to the Patriots.)
That was the 17th scenario and most unlikely as Green Bay figures to keep Rodgers for at least another season.
Here’s Barnwell’s third scenario where Watson ended up in the Bay Area:
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)
A lot is going on here, and land Watson but only giving up two first-round picks to land a top-3 quarterback who is 25-years old on a friendly contract would be a no-brainer for San Francisco.
Here is what Barnwell had to say about the trade:
The 49ers can credibly suggest that they’re Super Bowl contenders if they add Watson, who would be moving into a quarterback-friendly scheme with weapons galore. They might be in position to add a passer on a rookie deal, but Watson would be a bet that they can outscore anybody on offense. This would be a huge package, including four draft picks and two veterans, but general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan haven’t been shy about paying over the odds for the guys they want. If they want Watson, they aren’t going to let a price tag get in the way.
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.
Before you point out that the 49ers made the Super Bowl with Garoppolo, understand that the Niners will not make another Super Bowl where Jimmy G throws the ball eight times in the NFC Championship game. That’s living in a fantasy. If Jimmy comes back, he’s going to have to make plays.
Watson feels like a pipedream, but I wouldn’t completely rule him out. You have to imagine the 49ers have made an offer to Houston, as most teams have. I’ve seen “49ers Twitter” question whether Watson is worth it or even an upgrade over what’s currently on the roster, and all I can do is laugh.
Watson and I cannot stress this enough, is a significant upgrade from 95% of the NFL’s quarterbacks. There’s Patrick Mahomes, and then there’s Watson. For my money, Watson is the second-best quarterback in the NFL. When you have an opportunity to get one of those guys, you get them.
This would not be the team rolling the dice. The same goes with Matthew Stafford. When you know what you’re getting, the trade becomes much easier to pull the trigger on. Four years of good quarterback play from Stafford is worthy of a first-round pick. Eight years of Watson is worthy of two-first round picks.