In the case of Deshaun Watson, it takes three to tango.

Watson wants out of Houston, and he's ultimately going to get his way so long as rational thinking and reason prevail. The majority of NFL teams covet Watson and several will actually be lining up with offers for him. Because of Watson's no-trade clause, Houston can't hold an auction for their once-franchise quarterback, but the Texans still have to get appropriate (if not exact) value in return for the high-value asset.

Requesting a trade is the point of no return for a player like Watson. His time in Houston is done and look no further than team owner Cal McNair as the reason. The most beneficial course of action for Watson and the Texans would now be to cool tempers, set egos aside and work collaboratively for the final time on finding a trade partner.

It's useless at this point to believe the relationship can be repaired. News of Watson's request came about 12 hours after the Texans finally made their head coaching hire (despite being the first team with an opening in the 2020 season.) Similarly, it's futile to wonder how much Watson would be fined if he doesn't show up to training camp.

Projected trade timeline

The start of the new league year is March 17, and that should be considered by all parties -- Watson, the Texans and Team X that will be quarterbacked by Watson -- to be a firm deadline. Why? Because now that the genie is out of the bottle, the Texans need to start putting together the best roster that they can without Watson. That means luring free agents to a team (or keeping would-be free agents on a team) that doesn't have a lame-duck quarterback.

Likewise, Watson should want to be able to join a team that knows what it needs to fill in around the quarterback through free agency and the draft. Putting all these measures in place by the start of the league year benefits all parties the most.

The hardest of deadlines comes by April 29. That's the first round of the draft, and it would be actual business malpractice if the Texans get to the first round with Watson on the roster knowing good and well he's not playing for them in 2021 and beyond.

Because Watson will be worth some combination of three first-round picks plus other picks, it would be best for the Texans to at least know exactly what pick(s) they can get in the 2021 draft. Miami, for example, holds the No. 3 and 18 overall picks, but their future first-round pick could very well be in the late 20s with Watson as their quarterback.

Once you get past the draft, options for all parties are narrowed. Teams in need of an upgrade from their 2020 quarterback situation have likely already gotten it in the form of a free agent, trade or draft pick. The relationship between the Texans and Watson would have likely devolved into a nightmare. Perhaps Watson's top destination -- whatever that may be -- would have held out hope, not pursued any other QBs and thus be able to acquire Watson for far less than what it would require today. This is an unrealistic scenario.

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Deshaun's direct impact on a potential trade

Watson has a role in this, too, and that's why it takes three to tango. If he has just one destination in mind, neither he nor the Texans can let that be known. Even though the Texans have wronged Watson, the team still has to retrieve value for a 25-year-old quarterback coming off the best season of his career.

More likely, Watson has a list of places he'd be willing to go. If he and the Texans work together on this as they should, he can allow the offers to come into Houston and then privately give his wish list to the Texans. Or he could provide that list to Houston first and let GM Nick Caserio get to work on the first and biggest deal of his Texans career.

By virtue of his no-trade clause and the threat of being a non-performing high-value asset, Watson has leverage over the Texans. The Texans, by virtue of having the NFL's most prized asset available for trade in at least a decade, have leverage over teams wanting Watson's services. If a team wants Watson, they should have to pay a fair market price for him. (Side note: what does fair market price even mean anymore with what's going on with GameStop? Anyway.)

Teams that make the most sense for Watson

Because Watson's 2021 cap hit for his new team would only be about $10.5 million, any team wanting him could easily bring him on despite the anticipated cap dip next season. He loves Miami. He spends a lot of time in New York with his publicist and friend Bryan Burney. He could be close to his Gainesville, Ga., home with the Falcons or Panthers. Pencil in the 49ers for Super Bowl LVI if Kyle Shanahan can get his hands on Watson.

Will the Texans want to draft a quarterback in April? If so, the Jets and Dolphins could offer the best packages. If the Texans want a quarterback in return, would teams with the rights to Sam Darnold, Tua Tagovailoa, Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Ryan and Teddy Bridgewater ship them to Houston? Would Houston even want any of them?

I could continue down this path and wind up with far more questions than answers at this moment. The point is, there are and will be options. But the Texans and Watson have to put their irreconcilable differences aside to work together this one last time.

Could the Texans simply not trade Watson, fine him and let him not show up? I mean… yes. Then they could appear vindictive to their own players and every other NFL player who may ever cross their path. They could let several first-round-pick offers sit in their inbox collecting dust. They could alienate even more of their fan base, who recognize Watson as a young man with impeccable character and care for the community and who recognize the team as being an abject mess from at least the day of the DeAndre Hopkins trade.

Only an organization as foolish as the Texans would try something like that.

Oh, wait.