The New York Jets have been seen as a potential frontrunner to land Deshaun Watson, but a new report indicates they could be out of the running.
Watson asked for a trade amid a falling out with Houston’s front office regarding the direction of the franchise and recent hiring decisions. He is seen as one of the most in-demand trade targets in years, with as many as a dozen teams connected to him, despite what could be a historically high price tag. The Jets, a team with an arsenal of high draft picks and a desire to acquire a franchise quarterback, were seen as one of the strongest contenders, but ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported this may no longer be the case.
Citing a league source, Fowler reported that Watson is not keen on the idea of being traded to the Jets and may not be willing to waive his no-trade clause in order to pave the way for a deal. Fowler added that the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers were at the top of his list.
That could be a disappointing development for the Jets, as some around the league believed they would be willing to pay a high price to land Watson. Former NFL wide receiver-turned-league analyst Michael Irvin said he believed New York was willing to go all-in on Watson if they were given the chance to land him, moving on from Sam Darnold after three uneven seasons.
“You can still believe in Sam Darnold and that Sam Darnold can get it done, and the right coaching staff can bring the best out of him, but if you can get a Deshaun Watson, you go all-in on a Deshaun Watson because he’s a different kind of guy,” Irvin said in a teleconference with NFL Network analysts, via ESPN.
It remains unclear whether the Texans would be willing to deal Watson in the first place. As The Inquisitr noted, Houston’s front office has been taking calls from potential trade partners but told them they are not interested in trading him at the time. That could set up a potential showdown, as Watson has reportedly vowed not to suit up for the team again and may choose to sit out the 2021 season if he doesn’t get a deal. Houston would be able to levy a series of fines if he doesn’t report to training camp and withhold his pay during the year if it should come to that.