Mile High Report weighs in
Ever since it became clear Bill O’Brien and Jack Easterby were running the Houston Texans into the ground, there’s been a segment of NFL fandom praying that Deshaun Watson would force his way out. Those hopes mostly died in September when the 25-year old signed a 4-year, $160 million extension. If he wanted out, why would he agree to stay? It seems like a longshot, but today Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that Watson has mentioned to teammates he may request a trade.
Rumors already are circulating, and we’ve already heard them from multiple different people, that Watson has quietly broached with teammates the possibility of requesting a trade. If that’s happening, it may just be a strategic effort to ensure his views are respected by ownership. Regardless, it raises the stakes and crosses a bridge and potentially sets the foundation for Watson eventually to decide that he’d like to continue his career elsewhere.
Earlier this week Mile High Repot became aware of the fact Watson began following different members of the Denver Broncos. As it occurred, we were swimming through the news that John Elway would be stepping aside as GM. We discussed it, but ultimately shrugged as it seemed so unlikely. KOA’s Benjamin Allbright confirmed those suspicions on Twitter.
Texans aren’t trading Watson, nor has that been discussed. I asked for a hypothetical offer that might move him last night.
“Three 1sts, three 2nds and a player might start the conversation”
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) January 7, 2021
That last part caught our attention, however. It warrants discussion.
If it’s a possibility, should the Broncos call on Deshaun Watson?
How much is too much in terms of compensation?
Ian St. Clair: Without hesitation, and there isn’t too much. Do whatever it takes. If the Broncos want to compete with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, you need a quarterback on that level. And Watson isn’t just top 10, he’s top 5, in my estimation. Let’s put it this way: For 17 years, the Chiefs tried to counter John Elway with Steve Bono and Elvis Grbac. I don’t want the Broncos to follow that model.
Sadaraine: If there is any semblance of truth to the rumors of Watson wanting out of Houston, the Broncos should square away their GM ASAP and get on the phone. I’m not sure there is such a thing as “too much” in a trade for a guy like Watson. He’s a modern elite QB who would instantly upgrade this team to a serious AFC contender.
Tim Lynch: If the last five years have taught us anything, its that a franchise quarterback is worth whatever it takes. Three 1sts and 2nds along with a starter caliber player is about as steep of a price as it gets. That’s going to hurt the defensive side of the ball big time, but the offensive core is pretty much set for the foreseeable future. So that deal isn’t as damaging to the Broncos roster is it might be for other teams.
Adam Malnati: Yes! Why wouldn’t you call on a potential franchise altering player. Sell the farm. I don’t have a limit. After 5 garbage years of QB play, make the move. QB is the most important position on the field. Winning is nearly impossible without competent play under center. Watson is a guy who could make the Broncos AFC West contenders immediately.
Joe Mahoney: Whatever it takes. I’d go full Mike Ditka with RIcky Williams. The league is becoming more and more of a passing league each year and the Broncos have been falling behind in the arms race since late 2014.
Denver team QB play in orange. League average is in blue. Data for this century. pic.twitter.com/0h2T64Uq9b
— Joseph Mahoney (@ndjomo76) January 5, 2021
Joe Rowles: You have to. He’s the guy every single team is chasing. Take one look at the Broncos roster right now. You could easily make the argument they’re a quarterback and some health luck away from being a playoff contender. Watson is one of the best young passers in the league and will turn 26 during the 2021 season. He’s exactly what this roster needs and fits their current timeline.
As for the cost. Ask yourself this: If Lock isn’t the guy, how many picks will the Broncos need to burn to find someone half as good as Watson?