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The Deshaun Watson trade talk might have fallen to the back burner after Matthew Stafford formally requested a trade, but it’s still alive and well. Given that there is no precedent for acquiring a 25-year-old, top-five quarterback who has a favorable contract in a down cap year, no one knows what a trade would look like.
But Bill Barnwell of ESPN attempted to figure that out, putting together 17 trade scenarios for Watson, ranked from most likely to least likely.
The third most likely trade on Barnwell’s list? Watson to the 49ers in a three-team deal with the New York Jets. Here’s the breakdown:
49ers receive: Deshaun Watson, 2022 fifth-round pick (Jets)
Jets receive: Jimmy Garoppolo, Tarvarius Moore, 2023 third-round pick (49ers)
Texans receive: Sam Darnold, 12th overall pick (49ers), 2022 first- and second-round picks (49ers)
For the Jets, this trade makes sense if Mike Lafleur likes Garoppolo, and Robert Saleh still likes Tarvarius Moore. The Jets get an improvement at starting quarterback, third-round pick and a safety for trading away Darnold and a 2022-fifth-rounder.
For the Texans, it’s seemingly very low value though. They only get two first-round picks and a second rounder along with Sam Darnold for Watson.
The clear winner of this trade is the 49ers, though, and that might be a sign that the 49ers aren’t giving up nearly enough. Here is Barnwell’s context for the trades:
“When ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler asked NFL executives about a possible Watson deal, the asking price revolved around three first-round picks. Our deals here will use three first-rounders as the baseline, although the price tag might be more or less than that mark for specific contracts depending upon who else gets included and where those first-rounders fall.”