The blockbuster trade that would be a dream for the Cardinals

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson /

A dream trade for the Arizona Cardinals would comprise a deal for controversial Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Numerous teams are interested in acquiring Deshaun Watson, and the Arizona Cardinals are not among them. At least if they are, no one’s saying anything. I mean, this is the same team that shocked the league when they signed J.J. Watt this time last season, so anything is possible.

Reportedly, the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are the frontrunners to trade for Watson, and both are quarterback-needy teams. The Cardinals, meanwhile, at least look like they’re set to make amends with Kyler Murray and potentially sign him to a long-term deal.

But Murray has proven time and time again he’s nothing more than a splash player, even if he can start for most of the league’s 32 teams. Watson has yet to finish a season with a quarterback rating below 98.0. In three full seasons as a starter, he’s thrown at least 26 touchdown passes. And since 2018, he’s never completed fewer than 67.3 percent of his passes.

Murray has never thrown over 26 touchdown passes. Nor has he thrown single-digit interceptions. While Watson has thrown for over 4,000 yards twice, Murray has yet to eclipse this mark.

Yeah, Murray has made two Pro Bowls. Okay, whatever. But he’s never won a playoff game and has contributed to three straight regular-season collapses, two of which were monumental. The guy’s just not a great quarterback. He’s good. But he’s not a top-ten quarterback.

Before, I said the Cardinals would benefit from trading for Davis Mills and a few first-round picks and ship Murray to Houston. Now that Watson is not facing any criminal charges, it’s time to up the ante.

What would it take for the Arizona Cardinals to acquire Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans?

And the Cardinals wouldn’t need to part ways with three first-round picks and other assets, as the Texans reportedly want. They’re shipping a former first overall pick to Houston, their 2022 first-round pick (which will save Steve Keim from drafting another bust), A second-rounder in 2022, a second-rounder in 2023, Marco Wilson, and Jordan Phillips to Houston.

The Cardinals get a franchise quarterback who will turn just 27 when the season begins. A franchise quarterback who, by the way, will reunite with DeAndre Hopkins. And even if the Cardinals still need to give up three first-round picks, it should still be an easy decision. Keim doesn’t draft well anyway, so you may as well give them up to acquire Watson.

Either way, Watson has taken the Texans further than Murray has yet to take the Cardinals. And even during that tumultuous 4-12 season, Watson put up monster numbers with a mediocre supporting cast (translation: Watson knows how to elevate talent around him).

So, Keim needs to be working the phone. Get rid of Murray, where he can continue to produce splash games in Houston. And bring us Watson, who can and will pick up where he left off in 2020. Except this time, he’s winning games.

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