Dan Orlovsky has some bullish advice for Dave Gettleman.
With numerous organizations expected to throw their hats in the ring for the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, Orlovsky says the Giants should be the team to go all-in.
“If I was Dave Gettleman of the New York Giants, I would take Daniel Jones, I would take Saquon Barkley and I would take three first-round picks, and I would call Houston and not allow them to get off the phone with me,” the retired Lions quarterback turned NFL analyst said on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Friday.
The disgruntled Watson has caused quite the stir of late amid fraying internal relations with the Texans. He formally requested a trade on Thursday after months of frustration with the team’s front office over the decision to trade receiver DeAndre Hopkins, former head coach Bill O’Brien’s ineptitude and his lack of input in the hiring of incoming general manager Nick Caserio and head coach David Culley.
Watson, 25, was selected No. 12 overall out of Clemson by the Texans in 2017. He has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 14,539 yards, 104 touchdowns and 36 interceptions through 54 regular season games and would be a coveted asset to many teams across the league.
“As a general manager in this moment, if you ever were going to take a swing, this is the swing to take,” Orlovsky said. “As a general manager, the last thing you want to do is look back with regret that we didn’t try hard enough, that we didn’t throw in one extra first-rounder that’s the type of player and person that you’re going to get with Deshaun Watson.”
The Texans exercised Watson’s fifth-year option and granted him a four-year, $177.5 million extension with a no-trade clause ahead of the 2020 NFL season which binds him to Houston until 2025. He carries a cap hit of $15.94 million in 2021 with an astronomical $67.14 million dead cap hit according to Spotrac.
On Friday, the Texans expressed their unwavering interest in keeping Watson in Houston in spite of the surrounding chaos.
“Organizationally, we want to reiterate our commitment to Deshaun Watson,” Caserio said. “We have zero interest in trading the player.”
“He is a Houston Texan,” Culley said in his first press conference as head coach. “I want him to be a Houston Texan. The reason I’m in this position today is because I know he’s going to be a Houston Texan.”
Orlovsky acknowledges that a team may have to think outside the box to pry Watson away from the Texans, especially in light of the competition from teams in the market for a new signal-caller. The Falcons, Bears, Cowboys, Lions, Saints, Eagles, 49ers, Washington, Broncos, Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Patriots, Jets and Steelers all have question marks at quarterback heading into the 2021 offseason.
“What I’m watching is, who as a general manager is going to get creative? How are they going to go get one of the best players in the NFL,” Orlovsky added. “This is the time when you can make your career as a general manager.”
The hypothetical scenario laid out would mean moving on from Barkley and Jones, who were the Giants’ first-round picks in back-to-back years. Those two, plus additional draft capital, would be a price many around the league don’t believe the Giants would be willing to pay.
Barkley, 23, has missed 17 games since joining the team in 2018 as the No. 2 overall pick. He has 2,344 career rushing yards for 17 touchdowns, as well as 149 catches for 1,219 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. Jones, also 23, has completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 5,970 yards, 35 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in 27 appearances across two seasons.