The list of reasons to not call the Texans about trading for Deshaun Watson looks like this: Already have Patrick Mahomes, operating in salary-cap hell, not interested in winning.
Since none apply to the Giants, will they get involved now that Watson has asked for a trade? The Post talked to multiple league sources who believe the Giants should consider assembling a trade offer for Watson even if it is generally not their way and there are other teams better positioned.
The Giants’ late-season commitment to third-year quarterback Daniel Jones is not lip service — there is strong behind-the-scenes belief he can win at a high level — but the 25-year-old Watson’s unexpected availability five months after signing a four-year, $156 million extension is a new variable.
Watson is every bit the pocket-passer the Giants prefer to scramblers, and Jones — who will be eligible for his own contract extension at this time next year — regressed in his second season.
“The last thing you need is Jones getting upset that you went after someone else,” one longtime NFL executive said. “But if I could trust that I could keep it quiet, I would absolutely look into it and be prepared to be aggressive.”
If Texans general manager Nick Caserio thinks he needs to get a young quarterback under team control for multiple years in addition to multiple first-round picks, the Giants can offer Jones. Caserio was the Patriots director of player personnel when Jones impressed coach Bill Belichick on his 2019 pre-draft visit.
But the Jaguars, Jets and Dolphins all have better first-round picks than the Giants (No. 11) as well as extra first-rounders between the next two drafts and their own young quarterbacks — Gardner Minshew, Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa, respectively — to include in a package.
The Giants would deplete their high draft capital to acquire Watson and create a new problem much like the Texans have: A great quarterback and too few assets around him to build a winner.
“When a top-five quarterback becomes available it is mandatory to go after him,” one league source said. “I think it will be tough for the Giants to compete with an offer because the Texans would rather [start with] the No. 1 pick of the Jaguars or the No. 2 pick than Jones and the No. 11 pick.”
There are no early indications the Giants have any interest in any alternatives to Jones. By sending Watson to the NFC, the Texans are free of him as a Super Bowl obstacle and he is free of Mahomes as an obstacle.
The Giants once boldly traded two first-round picks, a third-round and a fifth-round pick for Eli Manning without any regrets. But a win-at-all-costs move like trading for Watson does not fit the draft-and-supplement plan that has taken shape.
“I think they will choose the status quo,” a league source said.