The Patriots might actually have an advantage in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, according to one former NFL executive.
In a segment on ESPN’s “Get Up!” on Monday, former Jets general manager and former Dolphins executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum said Nick Caserio’s working history with Bill Belichick could help the Patriots in a potential trade for Watson.
“Absolutely,” Tannenbaum said when asked if the working history between Caserio and Belichick makes it possible for a Watson trade to happen. “And Bill Belichick, what is he? He’s opportunistic. So, if he had to give up multiple first-round picks, maybe a really good player, they have a couple they can move from, that if they can get Deshaun Watson, it can transform their organization over the next 10 years.”
Caserio, who spent the last 20 seasons in the Patriots’ organization in different roles, was hired by the Texans in January to be their general manager. The fallout from the Texans’ hiring process of Caserio has reportedly led Watson to make a trade request. However, Caserio has stated that the Texans won’t trade Watson.
If Watson does end up on the market, Tannenbaum expects Belichick to be “real aggressive.”
Tannenbaum recognizes that trading for Watson may be a long shot for the Patriots or any team. He thinks the more likely option for the Patriots’ starting quarterback spot in 2021 will be a rookie.
“I think it’s going to be Mac Jones, University of Alabama, (with a) first-round pick. They trade up to get him,” Tannenbaum said. ” … I think the more realistic approach is going to be Mac Jones, Alabama.”
Patriots scouts spoke to Jones during the week of the Senior Bowl. Jones is projected to be selected in the first round of the draft by most draft analysts.
In the same segment, former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich had another prediction as to where Watson will end up. Ninkovich predicted that Watson, along with Rob Gronkowski, will end up in Miami to become members of the Dolphins.
“I think Deshaun Watson is going to be [Gronkowski’s] quarterback,” Ninkovich said. “I think (Dolphins coach) B-Flo (Brian Flores) is going to call up Nick Caserio and say ‘I’ve got a third overall pick in the first round. I’ve got a pick No. 18 in the first round. I’ve got pick 36th in the second round. And I’ve got Tua (Tagovailoa).
“I think we’re going to have a Gronk-Deshaun Watson duo next year.”
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