We already know that Watson has no real relationship with the Texans’ organization and wants to be traded after leading the NFL in passing yards a season ago. We also know that the San Francisco 49ers are one of the teams Watson prefers to join.
NFL rumors have linked the two sides on a near never-ending loop. Even with the Texans pushing back against taking trade calls, this isn’t going to die down any time soon. Veteran insider Peter King of NBC Sports added another layer to that on Monday.
“Houston is not only not interested in trading Watson but also not interested in listening to offers for him,” King noted in his weekly Football Morning in America article. “At least two teams have given offers to Houston and gotten zero feedback.”
While that report did not necessarily mention the 49ers as one of the teams that have made an offer to the Texans, it’s not too hard to read between the lines. In fact, King got pretty specific when mentioning the 49ers’ reported interest in Watson.
“But if the Niners could convince (Jimmy) Garoppolo to waive his no-trade clause, I could see San Francisco being all in here, even though the Niners clearly would have to part with some major assets, perhaps including the young nerve center of their defense,” King noted. “Linebacker Fred Warner is such a rising star, however, that his re-signing in San Francisco in the next 12 months might affect the franchise’s ability to keep other great young players (Nick Bosa?) in house.”
It remains to be seen if the 49ers would even consider moving Fred Warner for Watson. The young linebacker is coming off his first All-Pro season and is already among the top players at his position.
However, the ability to land a generational quarterback who has not yet hit his prime might be too hard for head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch to pass up on.
Obviously, this is all speculation. But the specifics are what stand out here. If San Francisco did indeed make Houston an offer for Watson, it also suggests that the 49ers are not all in when it comes to Jimmy Garoppolo.
All of this comes at the same time that NFL rumors persist linking the New England Patriots to the trade market. They are apparently interested in pretty much every starting-caliber quarterback available. That includes their former second-round pick in Mr. Garoppolo.
There are going to be a lot of moving parts in the coming weeks. First off, Houston needs to listen to Watson trade offers for anything viable to come up. Secondly, a record asking price would have to be met by interested teams. That includes the 49ers.
It was previously noted that the Denver Broncos joined San Francisco as one of the Watson’s preferred landing spots. And while the New York Jets might not be an attractive destination, the division-rival Miami Dolphins could very well be.
Meanwhile, Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper appears to be all in when it comes to a potential Watson trade. That previously included rumors suggesting running back Christian McCaffrey and three first-round picks would head back to Houston in the blockbuster.
For now, everything seems to be in a holding pattern. That could change quickly should Watson’s camp continue to make noise publicly.