Matthew Stafford trade sets the market for potential Deshaun Watson offers

Houston Texans, NFL Offseason

Deshaun Watson will now cost NFL teams a bit more than they cared to pay for thanks to Matthew Stafford.

The Houston Texans were one of the worst franchises in 2020, but they had an ace in the hole. Deshaun Watson, the first and only franchise quarterback since the team’s arrival in 2002, made things a bit easier on a lost season.

That’s now over if Watson truly is done with the Texans.

As reported, Watson sent in his official trade request last week before the hiring of head coach David Culley. New general manager Nick Caserio has no interest in letting Watson leave the city without a chance of potentially talking things out.

For now, all signs point to Watson being in a new uniform.

The question is, what is Watson’s worth on the market? Teams have been inquiring on prices for the fourth-year pro, but there’s still not a set deal that could justify Watson leaving Houston.

They now have a starting point thanks to the Los Angeles Rams.

Stafford’s price will double the cost for Watson

The Detroit Lions agreed to terms that would send Matthew Stafford out west in exchange for Jared Goff and a multitude of picks. The Lions will receive a third-round pick in 2021, a first-round pick in 2022 and a first-round pick in 2023, plus a hopeful rebounding gunslinger in the former No. 1 overall pick.

Watson, who is coming off a career year in which he reset the franchise record in touchdown passes (33) and led the NFL in passing yards, also is in a better spot than Stafford. The former Lions star is still one of the league’s top-half quarterbacks, but he’ll be 33 at the start of February.

Watson is only 25 and is getting better by the second.

One player maybe has five good years left and the other has about 15. Yet, the Rams traded two early selections, a mid-round pick and a proven starter for Stafford?

That’s not even enough to be the initial offer for Watson, which means the starting price in this bidding war just went up. How much? Double the deal for Stafford just to enter the chatroom.

Houston will be down a franchise star should Watson officially leave. He can make things hard by not waiving his no-trade clause to multiple teams, but the Texans can hardball right back and jack up the price.

It doesn’t matter if Watson wants to play for two teams or 10. Stafford’s deal now is only making Caserio sit down to reevaluate what happens next. No one wants to deal a bonafide star, but in a rebuilding franchise, a multitude of picks might be too much to pass up.

The Texans are one of the biggest winners of the Stafford trade late Saturday night. Entering the night, there was no plan on if Watson’s value could be as ridiculous as some predicted it would be, with offers reportedly needing to start with three first-round draft picks.

Dear Houston, ridiculous is now the only offer worth taking. Thank Les Snead for single-handily helping kickstart the rebuild.

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