Trading Deshaun Watson to free up $24.2 million in cap space for Texans
Now that a grand jury has chosen not to indict quarterback Deshaun Watson on any criminal charges, the Texans can trade him much more easily. When they do, they will realize significant savings in cash and ceiling space.
Last year, the Texans paid Watson $10 million in salary not to play for the team. This year, he has a fully guaranteed base salary of $35 million.
A transaction eliminates all of this cash obligation. It also clears $35 million of ceiling space. However, this is offset by a $10.8 million acceleration, reducing the net cap savings to $24.2 million.
The Texans currently have about $15 million in cap space. A Watson trade will push them to nearly $40 million in the 2022 cap space.
It will also result in multiple upsides (mostly draft picks) and the conclusion of a difficult situation that has been going on for over a year. Watson has wanted to leave for so long that Carson Wentz has been traded twice in the meantime.
Starting Wednesday, Watson will officially join a new team. Several franchises are no doubt exploring the possibility and preparing to make a move, because someone very likely will – perhaps before the weekend is over.