Denver Broncos: 4 blockbuster QB trades the team could attempt

Denver Broncos blockbuster QB trade ideas. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos blockbuster QB trade ideas. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Deshaun Watson, Denver Broncos
Deshaun Watson, possible Denver Broncos trade target. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos 2021 QB blockbuster trade options

4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (age: 25, 26 in September)

If Deshaun Watson is traded by the Houston Texans, it is going to be the trade of all trades.

Watson is a 25-year-old MVP candidate at the most valued position in professional sports. Not only that, but he’s also in a long-term contract already, so a team is not going to have to both trade for him and sign him.

Right now, the Texans are not even answering calls on Deshaun Watson, yet somehow the idea of multiple defensive starters, multiple first-round picks, and multiple second-round picks has been thrown around.

Any trade involving Watson is going to look unfair for the team acquiring him on paper. It’s going to be an unprecedented trade return that beats any trade ever made in NFL history. The Denver Broncos were involved in a trade for a young quarterback, only they were on the other end of a player wanting out.

In 2009, Jay Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears for two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and quarterback Kyle Orton.

That was a deal that ultimately could have sent the Denver Broncos into a long-term black hole at the quarterback position if McDaniels hadn’t been fired in 2010 and Peyton Manning signed as a free agent in 2012.

Houston, understandably, isn’t interested in going into that same quarterback black hole. They have no interest in trading Watson, but they might have no other choice. He doesn’t want to play for them anymore and he’s standing his ground.

Further, Watson has a no-trade clause, so he can dictate where he goes.

If the Texans open up this can of worms, the Denver Broncos can make a competitive offer but they can’t offer the Texans any really reasonable assurance at the quarterback position in return. Can anyone, though?

Broncos get:

  • QB Deshaun Watson

Texans get:

  • OLB Bradley Chubb
  • DL Dre’Mont Jones
  • QB Drew Lock
  • WR Tim Patrick
  • 2021 1st-round pick (9th overall)
  • 2021 2nd-round pick (40th overall)
  • 2022 1st-round pick
  • 2022 2nd-round pick

This trade gets the Texans multiple starters on both sides of the ball as well as four premium draft selections in the next two years. Currently, they have zero premium (1st or 2nd) round draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, so adding this kind of draft capital would undoubtedly be attractive.

Of the teams interested in trading for Watson, the Broncos and Carolina Panthers would probably have to offer the most when it comes to proven assets because they are out of range for QB1 or even QB2 or QB3 (most likely) in this draft class.

This trade would keep the Denver Broncos’ offensive core largely intact. It would take away their two most valuable young defensive assets, but the defense (in this scenario) would almost undoubtedly keep players like Von Miller, Justin Simmons, Shelby Harris, and others.

The Broncos would have to supplement in free agency and the mid-late rounds of the draft in the next two years to soften the blow of losing a Pro Bowl pass rusher in Bradley Chubb and a potential 2021 Pro Bowl player in Dre’Mont Jones.

The Texans would have to decide that Drew Lock is a viable option at least for the interim but this deal would also give them a really strong receiver in Tim Patrick, whose best opportunity to shine may not be in Denver going forward. Houston could have Patrick on a restricted free agent tender in 2021 and get him on a longer-term deal shortly thereafter.

It’s possible the Texans would require even more than this, perhaps asking the Denver Broncos for a player like Jerry Jeudy who is under contract for the next three years with an option for a fourth.

Whatever the case, is this a deal George Paton would look at and say it’s totally worth it? Watson solves your franchise quarterback issue for the foreseeable future and you aren’t going to be depleted of draft picks forever.

The question is — would the Texans accept a deal like this? Who knows?

At this point, it feels less likely the Texans would do a deal but that could all change in a few weeks as the frenzy of the 2021 NFL offseason really gets underway.