As the fires of a three-team idea that would land Deshaun Watson with the Minnesota Vikings flickered, NBC Sports’ Peter King just doused the flames in gasoline.
King laid out several Watson trade possibilities in his Football Morning in America column, including a trade that would involve the Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers and Vikings swapping quarterbacks and draft picks.
King called the proposal a “wing and a prayer,” however, King’s reputation as one of the most intune NFL writers in the country has elevated the trade idea to new heights as a tangible possibility if the Texans cannot get deals done with likelier candidates.
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King’s Trade Proposal Involves Parting Ways With Barr
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell proposed a trade earlier this offseason where the Vikings send several draft picks and Kirk Cousins to the New England Patriots to get Watson, King’s proposal involves parting ways with four-time Pro Bowler Anthony Barr.
Here’s Kings’ proposal:
This is centered on the premise that San Francisco would not want to rip apart a team and a future, and might be willing to take a lesser deal for a quarterback Shanahan has long admired. And also that Caserio, in the heart of the draft room in 2014 when the Patriots made Garoppolo a second-round pick, would want to try again with Jimmy G. It’s a wing and a prayer, but fascinating to me.
Peter King Proposal:The Vikings send quarterback Kirk Cousins to San Francisco. The Niners send Garoppolo to Houston, if, of course, he’d waive his no-trade. The Texans send Watson to Minnesota. In return: the Niners send their first-round pick in 2021 (12th overall) to Houston, and they’re out. (So San Francisco would be trading Garoppolo and a one to Houston and getting Cousins with two years left on his contract.) The Vikings would send linebacker Anthony Barr and running back Alexander Mattison plus their first-round picks in 2021 (14th overall) and 2023, and second-round picks in 2022 and 2023 in exchange for Watson. Houston’s haul: Garoppolo, two ones this year, a one in 2023, and two second-round picks.
The deal offers enough on paper to at least garner a look from the Texans, however, the Vikings would have to admit its past failures of the past few years and commit to rebuilding the team around Watson — a possibility he may not even be on board with and could deny with his no-trade clause.
Is Watson it Worth it?
King’s price tag of a pair of first- and second-round picks, Barr and Mattison for Watson is hefty. However, it is worth it when considering a top-five quarterback just four years into his career and the impacts that follow in the long run.
Getting Cousins and Barr off the books would alleviate some of the future cap constraints the Vikings have felt as of late. Watson’s $39 million average salary is steeper than Cousins’ $33 million a year.
However, the price at quarterback continues to rise and taking on Watson’s new contract he signed last fall that expires in 2026 would prove to be an affordable deal over time that would provide true elite talent at the position.
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