New England Patriots

HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 22: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans scrambles in the second quarter during their game against the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

Nick Caserio has been the GM of the Houston Texans for less than 48 hours, and yet we already have Deshaun Watson trade rumors starting to percolate.

The Texans quarterback fired off a doozy of a cryptic tweet mere hours after reports surfaced that Houston is hiring Caserio to run the front office. Watson languished for three-plus seasons under Bill O’Brien at head coach and he also witnessed Jack Easterby Littlefinger his way to the top of the organization. All this for a 4-12 season. So it’s hard to blame him for having some ex-Patriot fatigue.

Well, apparently the whispers are starting to circle around. Like Lord Varys’ little birdies, people are talking to Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk about Watson approaching teammates with the idea of possibly requesting a trade. I find Florio to be unbearably sanctimonious on a lot of occasions, but he certainly does hear things from high places, particularly about money and front office dealings. And while a Watson trade may never happen, rumors are fun so let’s have some fun.

MORE: Deshaun Watson seems unhappy about Texans hiring Caserio

Florio also points out that, surprisingly, Watson’s contract wouldn’t be a massive obstacle in a trade. If the Texans move Watson before June 1 – and a deal like this would almost certainly happen before the draft – they’d have a dead cap charge of “only” $21.6 million. Reminder: the Patriots absorbed about $23 million in dead cap money in the 2020 offseason from the departures of Tom Brady and Antonio Brown.

Another thing that Florio brings up, and this is what could stop Bill Belichick and the Patriots from making such a trade: it would require a Herschel Walker-level package. For the kids, the Walker trade famously involved 18 players and 11 draft picks between the Cowboys and Vikings back in 1989.

But you can’t blame anyone for mining some Twitter likes out of Bill Belichick walking out to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s music. The Patriots are at the top of the list of teams who need a new starting quarterback, which is more important than any issue that a dozen draft picks would fix. And call this a scorching hot take but Watson might have a chance to solve that problem.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at