Well, let’s say not everyone is aware that the Jets can build around the disgruntled star quarterback.
Bleacher Report’s Take About Deshaun and The Jets
On Thursday, B/R’s Tim Daniels reported that Deshaun Watson knows if he goes to the Jets, the team can’t do much building around him. In spite of this, Watson is open to other teams despite just being linked to the Jets and Dolphins.
The take made by Daniels is utterly false and holds no water. Let’s break this down.
Breaking Down The Numbers
Coming into free agency, the Jets will have around $67 million in cap space. Let’s say these players become casualties:
- G Greg Van Roten ($3.4 million)
- G Alex Lewis ($5.1-$5.2 million)
- DE Henry Anderson ($8.2 million)
- TE Ryan Griffin ($1.8 million)
- LB Blake Cashman ($774,000)
- K Sam Ficken ($850,000)
- WR Josh Malone ($920,000)
- WR Josh Doctson ($985,000)
- K Chase McLaughlin ($850,000)
- QB Mike White ($850,000)
Now, as previously stated, these players could all be cap casualties. Next to the players is the amount of how much the Jets would save by cutting that player. With all these cuts, the team would be holding a total of $86,333,606 in cap space.
The Jets could also cut slot receiver Jamison Crowder. Cutting Crowder would create some uncertainty. Yes, the team would save around $10 million to bring up their cap space to $96 million. Yes, you could sign a younger and cheaper Curtis Samuel in free agency. But, will Samuel give you as much production as Crowder would? His production would be a tad less than Crowder.
Final verdict: Jamison Crowder stays a Jet.
Anyway, let’s say the Jets do make a trade for Deshaun Watson and make the cuts above. Watson’s cap hit for 2021 is $15,940,000. Compared to the next couple of years, the Jets get off a little here. With the $15 million subtracted, the team would now have approximately $70.3 million in cap space.
If the Jets do cut Crowder with Watson on the team, the Jets would hold around $80 million cap space. Then, Gang Green trades Sam Darnold to a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers or an NFC Team. A Darnold trade would save the Jets #4.8 million.
If you add that up, the Jets would have $75 million before the start of free agency.
To me, there’s plenty of money to build around Deshaun Watson.
The Draft + Draft Compensation For Deshaun Watson
Now, the draft plays a very huge role in the Watson sweepstakes. The Jets have a total of 10 draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft with two first-rounders. This year along with 2022, the team has four first-round selections. Now, let’s do a mock trade.
Houston Texans Receive: Two 2021 first-round selections (#s 2 and 23), Two 2022 first-round selections, 2021 third-round pick (86th overall pick)
Jets Receive: QB Deshaun Watson
Will this be enough for the Jets to acquire Deshaun Watson? I don’t know. But what I can tell you is the second overall pick is very valuable if the deal doesn’t include Sam Darnold. That second overall pick will be used to take the next franchise quarterback of the Houston Texans.
Let’s say Houston trades Deshaun Watson to the Miami Dolphins and they give up a bevy of picks. Their highest and most valuable draft pick is the third overall pick. The third overall pick is a little less significant.
Now you have to choose between drafting only of the two mentioned above or trade down to get someone like Trey Lance. Assumingly, the Texans would want the best quarterback available in either scenario.
That’s why the second overall pick is more valuable.
Now, let’s move to the Jets. Say they make the trade like the one I drafted. The team would have seven draft picks left in the 2021 draft plus a bevy of picks in 2022.
What some people need to realize is if the Jets indeed trade for Deshaun Watson, he’s going to be the long-term answer. You could build around him this year and next year.
If Jets general manager Joe Douglas believes that he could draft well in the middle rounds without the first-rounders, he’s gonna pull the trigger. If Douglas isn’t confident, he is gonna use the second overall pick to draft their next quarterback of the future.
Contradicting the B/R report, the Jets CAN build around Deshaun Watson properly.