I wrote earlier in the 2020 Season if the Steelers could have anyone from the Texans, I would want Deshaun Watson.
Let’s be clear before I start this conversation, I don’t think this will happen. Yet, there is possibly a way the Steelers could swing a trade for Watson. The Texans have very very little draft capital thanks to a few poor trades. They have a cap situation to deal with as well. Houston has a problem and they are ready to rebuild. Yet, Deshaun Watson is competitive and wants to win. There are numerous reports that he wants out, and I don’t blame him.
The Steelers don’t have a history of making aggressive trades like this, especially involving draft capital due to their propensity to build their team through the draft every year. However, the Texans need draft picks for their rebuild. With that being said, the Steelers could offer the 24th pick, the 56th pick of the 2021 draft, Diontae Johnson, and a 1st round pick from the next two drafts, or possibly just one of the next two first-rounders and a second-rounder in there somewhere.
That is a lot of draft capital, paired with a young and ultra-talented wide receiver who has a ton of potential for his career. We could very well see Johnson labeled an all-pro more than once by the time his career is finished, because of how great of a route runner, and ball carrier he is. Johnson really just needs more consistency catching the ball and he becomes one of the best receivers in the league without question.
You are probably wondering if I am crazy right now. The truth is Deshaun Watson is the only reason Houston has won any games this season. He has no run game, a relatively poor receiving group aside from Will Fuller and Brandon Cooks, a bad offensive line, and no defense. On a talent level, Deshaun Watson is comparable to the likes of Patrick Maholmes and Russell Wilson, while being only 25. He carries a huge cap hit in the years 2022-2024 but could be open for a restructure and extension with the right team. In 2021, carrying a $15 million cap hit, he would provide more flexibility next season financially than Ben could. I’m saying the Steelers could retain core pieces next season while improving their roster through free agency in hopes of winning a super bowl in 2021.
The Steelers would need Ben Roethlisberger to retire before they could offer the trade as they can’t cut Ben, he has done far too much for the organization, and they wouldn’t have the cap to carry him and Watson in 2021 now. This trade is very unlikely to happen, yet if there was a quarterback available that could overcome this offensive line and lack of a running attack it is Watson. Moreso, with a young but still elite defensive core, being able to lock in a generational talent at quarterback longterm would give the Steelers a playoff-ready team for the next decade.
I don’t think that this trade would happen, yet I truly believe Pittsburgh should be ready to send 4 or 5 draft picks for a quarterback that more than likely will end up in the hall of fame when his career is over. I don’t see how the Steelers could go wrong here. Especially because if Ben retires and they land Watson, they are super bowl contenders again, even after getting humiliated by the Browns in the wild card round of the playoffs.