It might be a pipe dream, but it sure is fun to think about.
Trade rumors began swirling last week regarding Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is reportedly unhappy with ownership in Houston after they chose not include him in the team’s general manager or head coaching search, following a meeting in which they said they would.
Is he unhappy enough to hold out and demand a trade? We’re pretty far away from that prospect. The Texans don’t even have a coach yet, Watson is under contract through 2025 and is one of the best young quarterbacks in football. Watson led the league with 4823 passing yards and posted a 112.4 quarterback rating on a miserable 4-12 Texans team in 2020.
That’s all to say that Houston is highly incentivized to make things work with Watson, a trade serving as an absolute last resort. We are talking about the Texans, however, a team that is one year removed from trading DeAndre Hopkins and a draft pick for, checks notes, David Johnson?
So, what should the 49ers offer if the situation deteriorates to a point where they find themselves on the phone with Houston? A whole hell of a lot according to KNBR host and Bay Area News Group columnist Dieter Kurtenbach, who believes that Watson would immediately make the 49ers a Super Bowl favorite.
“Here is Jimmy Garoppolo, here is this year’s first round pick, here is next year’s first round pick and a first round pick three years from now,” Kurtenbach said he’d tell Houston. “And if you want any of these thirds that you’re getting for Robert Saleh, you can have those too. You can completely rebuild your franchise like that, and if you want to trade up to get (Justin) Fields or Zach Wilson, if you want a quarterback, you are going to have to assets to be able to go get that.
“We’re going to absolutely load you up with draft picks because when we get Deshaun Watson here in San Francisco, we do have a good enough team. The fact that I can say with Jimmy Garoppolo they can still be a playoff team, indicates that, yeah, they might slip a little, they’re still going to be pretty damn good. They still have damn good coaching even when they lose Robert Saleh.
“They immediately become the favorite in the NFC. You saw what Aaron Rodgers was able to do in year two of a Kyle Shanahan-like offense. You put a player that has the natural talent and ability of Deshaun Watson — and I’ve been critical of Deshaun in the past, I think he runs into too many sacks and throws too many picks at times — but if you put him in a Gary Kubiak wide-zone, play-action offense, the kind that has made Baker Mayfield a passible quarterback, the kind that has turned Aaron Rodgers into Superman once over, it’s game over. He’s going to win an MVP, the 49ers would win a Super Bowl, probably early on, it’s just an absolute no-brainer.
“I can’t fathom why the Texans wouldn’t try to mend this relationship, and do everything in their power to make sure Deshaun Watson loves them once again. But if they screw this up and I guess they are wont to screw this up given everything they’ve done in that organization the last four or five years, the 49ers would see all the benefits in a trophy case, because it would be absolutely next level, heist of the century.
“I don’t care how many draft picks you have to give up, just go get him, because it takes your team from ‘really good’ and ‘has a chance’ to ‘automatic favorite’ and no one could argue with me that they weren’t the favorites. The Packers stink, and if they are the favorites in the NFC — by the way who knows what’s going on with the Saints next year — get out of here. 49ers with Deshaun Watson, I don’t care how many defenders you lose, that’s the favorite.”
Listen to the full interview below.