Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Barnwell proposes 3-team trade sending Deshaun Watson to 49ers

Jan 27, 2021 at 8:29 AM--

ESPN's Bill Barnwell prefaced his most recent feature by stating, "I don't think the Houston Texans should trade Deshaun Watson." The star quarterback is just too good of a talent to even consider getting rid of.

Of course, the thought process changes when your quarterback gives a strong impression that he has no desire to play another snap for you. The relationship between Watson and the Texans has soured, with many expecting the three-time Pro Bowl star quarterback to seek a trade.

Added Barnwell: "If he wanted to leave, I would strongly encourage Cal McNair to do what it takes to get Watson to change how he feels. A trade should only be the absolute last resort."

Barnwell ranked the most likely trade scenarios for Watson, should the quarterback's relationship with the Texans be beyond repair. The ESPN writer also examines what it might take for each potentially interested team to acquire Watson.

The San Francisco 49ers come in at No. 3 on Barnwell's list of the most likely scenarios, with only scenarios involving the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers ahead of them. What does it take for general manager John Lynch and company to acquire Watson from the Texans? Barnwell has the 49ers taking part in a three-team trade also involving the New York Jets. The trade breakdown is below.

49ers send to Texans: No. 12 overall pick in 2021, 2022 first- and second-round picks, 2023 third-round pick, S Tarvarius Moore
49ers send to Jets: QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Jets send to Texans: QB Sam Darnold
Jets send to 49ers: 2022 fifth-round pick
Texans send to 49ers: QB Deshaun Watson

So, in the end, the 49ers would give up two first-round picks, a second-rounder in 2022, a third-rounder in 2023, Moore, and Garoppolo to receive Watson and a fifth-round pick in 2022.

Barnwell feels Watson would be a great fit within Kyle Shanahan's quarterback-friendly scheme, and the 49ers would have enough weapons around him to create a potent offense.

"This would be a huge package," wrote Barnwell, "including four draft picks and two veterans, but general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan haven't been shy about paying over the odds for the guys they want. If they want Watson, they aren't going to let a price tag get in the way."

Adding Garoppolo in the deal that includes the Jets provides San Francisco an opportunity to dump most of their current quarterback's salary and get something in return. Former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is New York's new head coach, which might be enticing enough for Garoppolo, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, to approve of the move.

"The Texans would be a more logical fit for Darnold, who is still on a rookie deal and looking for a fresh start after three disappointing seasons in New York," added Barnwell. "They would still pick up the 12th pick in 2021 to add a weapon for Darnold or help on defense to go along with San Francisco's top two picks in 2022."

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