Would the Las Vegas Raiders trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson? Maybe not, but if they did, it wouldn’t be the first time an NFL threw a curveball at us.
Mike Florio of Pro Football talk reported Watson broached with teammates the possibility of requesting a trade. This has drawn many fanbases to the thought of making a move for the Top 5 quarterback. The Raiders have a signal-caller coming off a career year. Nevertheless, there is much speculation around how this offense could improve with an elite signal-caller under center.
Keep in mind quarterback is far down the line of needs for the 2021 Raiders. Therefore, it may be hard to invest resources into this position. Pulling this blockbuster trade for Watson would have positive and negative effects. Here’s a look at both sides of the coin.
Why it makes sense for the Raiders to target Deshaun Watson
AFC West offenses on the rise
In previous seasons, the Raiders had to fear the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive firepower. Now, it seems like there’s another player who is going to give the division and defending Super Bowl Champions a run for their money. Rookie of the Year candidate Justin Herbert took the league by storm after he took over for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2.
Not only will this Las Vegas team need to compete offensively with the Chiefs for years to come, but they will also have to keep up with the Oregon product as well. The Raiders will have to continue improving on offense if they don’t want to fall behind in a very tough division.
The ideal scenario for Deshaun Watson
Offensively, Watson made do with subpar starters across the board, specifically on the offensive line. He has had terrible protection upfront since his first NFL start. This past season, he took 42 quarterback takedowns, the second-most sacks in the NFL. On the other hand, Las Vegas has a sturdy offensive line. The Clemson standout would have the opportunity to stay upright and create plays at a far higher rate than he did in ‘H-Town’.
Also, Watson’s weapons with the Texans were not much to write home about, especially in 2020. Since the departure of DeAndre Hopkins, he has had little to work with outside of injury-prone receiver Will Fuller V. Meanwhile, the Raiders have a stud in running back Josh Jacobs, Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller, and a consensus Top 10 offensive line, this seems like a very ideal situation for someone like Deshaun Watson.
It could also be counterproductive
The Raiders have far bigger needs
To put it simply, the Raider’s defense was not much better than their Texans’ counterpart. In fact, both units lost games for their respective teams in 2020. In the Raider’s case, losses to the Miami Dolphins, Chargers, and Chiefs could have been avoided with even mediocre defensive play. This is why it is very understandable for Raider’s fans to oppose a potential move for Watson. From all across the defensive front, to needing a ball-hawking safety in the secondary, this defense may be too far underwater for the Raiders to invest serious assets into an upgrade at quarterback.
- 2021 first-round pick
- 2022 first-round pick
- 2022 third-round pick
- Quarterback Derek Carr
- Right guard Gabe Jackson
Las Vegas Receives:
- QB Deshaun Watson
- 2021 sixth-round pick
Undoubtedly, the Texans will want a haul for Watson. Nonetheless, they may look to acquire a bridge-quarterback in a deal for Watson before they bring in a new, cheap, and young talent. If this is what Houston would want in exchange for their franchise quarterback, the Raiders must steer clear and hold onto their assets. While a move for Watson would bring much excitement to Sin City, there are simply too many holes on the defense for the Raiders to sink their teeth into a deal for the former Clemson Tiger.
Top Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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