The Deshaun Watson Price Tag

March 12th, 2022

This post is not about the Bucs’ light wallet when it comes to competing with three other NFC teams possibly seeking to buy/pry creepy quarterback DeShaun Watson from the Houston Texans.

This post is about Watson’s fat contract.

Most long-term contracts for Pro Bowl quarterbacks turn out to be an excellent deal for their team, though Watson’s contract might not be the most team-friendly, and it could give the Bucs a lot of short-term (2022) pain. (Of course, Tampa Bay would have to pull off a blockbuster trade first.)

Much like the Falcons did yesterday with Matt Ryan, the Bucs could try to convert Watson’s meaty 2022 contract into a signing bonus and spread the pain over multiple years.

ESPN contract guru Field Yates laid out Watson’s salary spreadsheet via Twitter below. It’s probably quite a bargain by the time 2024 rolls around, so the Bucs probably wouldn’t hesitate to kick some of Watson’s salary cap charge down the road.

However, Joe is wondering about Watson’s no-trade clause. Would that transfer to his next team?

Joe thinks Team Glazer might be uncomfortable with Watson keeping his no-trade clause. Imagine dealing a massive package of draft picks (at least the equivalent of four first-round picks) and then not having full control of the asset you acquired — one with some personal issues and no track record with your team.

37 Responses to “The Deshaun Watson Price Tag”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Mike Greenberg pulled off the 22 royal flush last year, if the Bucs want to sign him, it will get done.
    We will see what team actually wants him the most and Deshaun is actually willing to go to that team.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  2. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    This is part of the reason I pray to the great pigskin deities, that Josh McDaniels will want a QB already familiar with his system and go after Jimmy GQ-tip. Making David Carr available. I’d feel more comfortable with his final year contract than roll the dice with Watson.

  3. Hodad Says:

    Going rate for franchise QB’s. That’s why it’s better to find the next Russell Wilson in the third round than trading for him. Maybe Trask is that late 2nd who becomes the next Wilson. Maybe it’s a late round QB like Brady was who Licht sees something in. For right now the only QB the Bucs need to worry about is just signing Gabbert, so we at least have two QB’s.

  4. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    *Derek Carr (No coffee yet)

  5. Mcruzer Says:

    Pull the trigger. I have gotten spoiled with the wins and want more of them.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Watson would be great in Tampa he is a great quarterback with good speed. The only time he heard bad things about him is about him is this mess about these women, and all this came out when he said he wanted out of that team. He wasn’t charged, that is the only time he has been in the news. Tampa needs him and Bruce wants him.

  7. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Watson will not replace Brady. No one can.
    Trading for Watson will destroy the Bucs’ roster for years – the Bucs have too many Free Agents on Defense this year and next and OLine this year – Trading for Watson will deplete the roster and mske it impossible to rebuild through draft.
    This isn’t flag football- forget it.

  8. Allbuccedup Says:

    I believe 2022 is a 24 mil cap hit.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    NFL teams don’t ‘buy’ franchise QBs for 10 years anymore. They RENT them. Bucs didn’t ‘buy’ Tom Brady for 2020 & 2021; we RENTED him (very inexpensively I might add). Young QBs like Mahomes & Watson are ‘hired guns’ (OK, hired gunslingers) who demand to be paid VERY handsomely for their services.

    Bucs current problem (both now & over the years past) is that we failed miserably in developing our own franchise QBs. Many we drafted, failed to develop, then allowed them to move on after 4-5 years (Winston latest example?) because they weren’t worth a 2nd contract. People seem to conveniently forget that Jameis, the founding member of the 30-30 club, wanted $30 mil a year to re-sign after 2019 … $1 mil per TD OR $1 mil per INT, take your pick.

    I see only 2 viable paths to winning a SB nowadays. Path 1 is to ‘rent’ a franchise QB (Brady, Stafford, maybe Wilson) to lead a quality team (good in all 3 phases) and in the process ‘sell your soul to the devil’ to create a relatively narrow SB window. Bucs did that in 2020 & almost pulled it off again in 2021. The devil now wants his pound of flesh.

    Path 2 is to draft & develop a franchise QB to lead an even higher quality team (very good in all 3 phases) in the hopes of creating a team that can compete for SB championships over a number of years. IMO that’s the approach the Bengals & Chargers are attempting to use (and even the new Patriots). How long they can be successful using that approach will largely depend on Burrows & Herbert. At some point odds are that they’ll want to earn the big bucks too.

    I’d prefer to see the Bucs use a similar approach instead of ‘renting’ yet another high-dollar QB to a short-term. MAYBE Trask is that guy; MAYBE NOT. Only 1 way to find out. If not, we’d probably have a meh record this year & could draft another QB in 2023. OR sign a quality but not prohibitively expensive QB Derek Carr to see us through 5-7 years. But for heaven’s sake let’s stop with this whack-a-mole approach to team leadership, at least when it comes to our QBs.

  10. Bobby M. Says:

    We’ll be packaging up a starter and developmental player along with picks. With Lovie in Houston, i imagine a defensive starter like Shaq or D. White would appeal to him, I also think if they are looking at developing a young QB, Godwin would be an excellent WR to match them up with. If I’m Licht…..I probably prefer to give up Shaq in order to keep weapons for Watson. We land Watson and i could definitely see the potential for fournette returning along with Gronk.

  11. Yup Says:

    Mouth breathers, moth breathers everywhere. They really want D Watson to cream in their hair. Hide your daughters hide your wifes or D Wat will give them a special surprise

  12. Bird Says:

    Look at those numbers. That is actually a steal for top rated qb now. 32-35 range
    People talking about derek carr being more reasonably priced.

    Carr is looking at deal in 35-40 mil range per year. And he is no watson. Heck no one is like watson when he showers himself in his own dna. Karen rodgers just got 50 mil per. Top shelf qbs going for big bucks

    Those numbers are legit. And greenberg is the best in business.
    Not sure how i feel about watson though. Amazing player. But such a disgusting freak. None of bucs brass would want that man near anyone in their family.

  13. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    With the way they absorbed all of Marpets salary this year instead of pushing it to next year tells me this is a reset year. I think they’re going to try to get out of salary cap trouble this year and rebuild next. So I think they’ll bring in a cheap veteran to compete. I don’t believe Watson is on their radar.

  14. Stalker Says:

    D Watson is only interested in married women so I understand why a large portion of readers don’t care about bringing him to the team. You old lonely guys should just go play madden if you want D Wat so bad

  15. Parrishbucsfan Says:

    Hey Joe, do you know if Watson is friends with Antonio brown? If yes then we’re screwed anyways.

  16. gp Says:

    Great take DR

    I’d like to add that I equate Watson to a radioactive bar of gold.
    Gold isn’t cheap and gets more expensive year to year. Do we buy this one based on a 5 year valuation estimate?
    Don’t forget the radiation!
    Doe’s it turn the team into super hero’s or does it rot you from within?
    What’s really scary is that there are posters here who will argue over the reality of that!

  17. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Alan the Bucs have sucked for the majority of the time they have been in existence. The primary reason for all that sucking is because they haven’t had a true franchise QB. Then they got Brady and became dominant overnight. In the early 2000s they had probably the greatest defense of all time. While they did win a SB with that defense, if they had a true franchise QB back then they probably would have won four or five. Look at the teams that are consistently in the playoffs making deep runs. They all have franchise QBs. Get Watson at any cost and then worry about the other pieces. Without a great QB it is a near certainty the Bucs won’t compete for a SB in the next decade.

  18. Fishhawkbuc Says:

    He would fit in well with the Tampa culturally BUT it would be very difficult for him to gain respect by his teammates.

  19. Beeej Says:

    Best scenario is Raiders want him, then Carr becomes available. Second best, Browns. Third option is BA is quite certain that Gabbert will carry is to the promised land

  20. TBfan Says:

    Ya fellas let’s go after DeShaun Watson and all his legal problems, maybe bring back Antonio Brown to I hear he’s available too. Let’s put a ton of cash into a sketchy personality to fill the shoes of the greatest quarterback of all time. Everybody on this site knows there’s one hope… and that’s that Brady decides to come back and play for the Bucs this summer. And stop with all this noise about knowing that Tom Brady is not coming back, no one knows if he’s coming back! I’m not sure Tom knows yet…HE WANTS TOO…but the pressure on the home front is real af. Don’t spend a pile of cash on a bunch of sketchy backup quarterbacks and or starting quarterbacks with legal problems. Now…go ahead and tell me you know Tom is definitely not coming back😆….

  21. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    I can roll with either scenario DR lays down…. rent or buy. Watson would cause short-term (1-2 season) pain, but would give us a legit, proven franchise QB for the next 10 years. If we don’t pull the trigger, then we bring in a cheaper alternative (Jimmy G or Carr) to compete with Trask. We are REALLY going to see how good a GM Jason Licht is over the next two seasons.

  22. SKBucsFan Says:

    I agree Defense. We don’t know if a high priced, sacrifice the future QB will win more games than Trask. I don’t believe the risk is worth the reward. None if the “remaining QB’s” have ever been there before! Why pay them for mediocrity? One successful season makes them worth it???
    Maybe I am just spoiled by the Brady experience. But maybe Trask can also be the guy? Only one way to know for sure. We may not be any worse off.

  23. gp Says:

    DR gettin lotsa love this morning LOL
    That’s what happens when you put up thoughtful/thought provoking posts rather than off the cuff, emotionally powered, opinion pieces.
    Keep it up DR.
    I don’t always agree, but always appreciate your take.
    A rarity on this site!

  24. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Watson went 4-12 with Texans when he had a depleted roster around him – and the same thing will happen again if Bucs trade for him – won’t be able to sign alot of Free agents or draft quality new starters for couple of years- if Watson was a Free Agent then maybe yes, but the cap hit and trade capital would be too much.

  25. TBfan Says:

    Absolutely Alan… Straight facts… We already have a maybe… signed. Why would we go out and spend more money on another Maybe?

  26. Stone crab sam Says:

    The Bucs have an all pro wide receiver that was drafted by lovie smith that is from the Houston area. Just sayin….

  27. Stone crab sam Says:

    Massive trade equity

  28. Adrnagy Says:

    Here we go …

    Vita vea Converted $9.55M of 2022 base salary into signing bonus, clearing $7.64M of cap space with Tampa Bay (TB)

  29. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Keep a good team around Trask and see what he can do. Watson is just too expensive.

  30. Thomas Edrington Says:

    Still can’t figure out what many of the above on this post want to DROP A GIANT TURD INTO THE BUCCANEER PUNCH BOWL!!!!!!!!

  31. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hopefully, the days of top 10 draft picks for the Bucs is over….but that makes it more difficult to draft or trade for a top QB…..

    We could get lucky with Trask or another pick…..

  32. Killian Says:

    It would be legit if they could pull off a 3 team trade that sent Watson to either Minnesota or Las Vegas, we get the other QB, restructure several contracts, sign Jensen, Cappa, and lock down some cheap free agents. Even with the mass exodus, the Bucs have a very solid core.

  33. Killian Says:

    Honestly, we still have Brady and by some accounts, he still wants to play, just not for us. Wouldn’t it make sense to work with him to trade him to the 48ers for JimmyG and draft picks?

  34. TBTeddy Says:

    Y’all calling that man gross like you personally witnessed him do something wrong 🙄. Yet there are no charges so he’s presumed to be innocent but some of y’all need something besides his play to turn down Watson. Trask is clearly not impressing anybody on the team if they are looking at trading for Watson or Baker. The willfully ignorant fans want us to go back to losing while we have the easiest division to win. Y’all couldn’t of been bucs fans during the losing wow how some of y’all have forgotten how it feels to be constant losers. The rams was our only competition last year we would’ve smoked the 49ers & the bengals

  35. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    A lot of you disappoint me.

    Watson is NOT coming to Tampa…

    …and whoever trades for him will be paying a lower price than expected.

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    Bring Watson here. Tampa Bay is noted for as plethora of Gentlemens Clubs both on the high and low end. He will love the Bay area.

  37. firethecannons Says:

    NFL may suspend Watson 6 months or more. starting to go back to thinking lets jack up the sweepstakes and the price then settle on Kyle Trask. Let Panthers or Saints get buried alive in the costs.