The rumor mill of trade speculation has reached a ridiculous point, and the Super Bowl hasn’t even happened yet. Whisper the name of a quarterback and he somehow will become the next 49ers savior.
We’re in for a long offseason.
Aaron Rodgers. Deshaun Watson. Matthew Stafford. Every QB in the NFL draft. Who’s next?
Well, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell proposed a wild three-team trade Wednesday that would send Watson from the Houston Texans to the 49ers. Here are the full hypothetical details:
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)
In the end, the 49ers would lose four draft picks, their current starting quarterback and a safety they selected in the third round of the 2018 draft. They would gain Watson and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick.
“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,” Barnwell wrote. “If they want Watson, they aren’t going to let a price tag get in the way.”
Nor should they.
Trying to play fake John Lynch from my couch is worthless. I’m not going to wrap my mind around a three-team team trade with a whole lot of moving parts and break it down piece by piece. I’m not going to act like I’m contract guru Paraag Marathe. What I can do is say this: If there’s any chance you can add Watson, you do it. Hot take!
After an offseason where the Texans traded away his best receiver, Watson led the NFL in passing yards (4,823), yards gained per pass attempt (8.9) and yards gained per pass completion (12.6). He already has thrown for over 4,000 yards twice in his four-year career. The 49ers haven’t had a 4,000-plus yard passer since Jeff Garcia in 2000.
Watson is 25 years old. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and players at his age and skill set don’t become available. Get rid of your draft crushes, Watson is better. That’s the truth.
If there’s any way you can acquire Watson, who has a no-trade clause, you do it.
There, I said it.