Who Could Justify Not Trading For Deshaun Watson?

Who Could Justify Not Trading For Deshaun Watson?

NEW YORK, N.Y.- When a once in a lifetime opportunity presents itself, would you want your team to pass it up? That opportunity could arise this offseason as Houston Texans franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson is furious at his organization for their handling of the offseason process so far. If this gets to the point of contention to where the only solution is for Watson to play elsewhere next season, how many teams could justify not trading for the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback? The answer is just one.

Outside of the Chiefs, every other NFL team should be on the horn with the Texans trying to facilitate a trade to bring in the stud quarterback. Whether it’s because of age, production, or consistency, Watson is an upgrade for every other team outside of Kansas City.

AGE:

Aaron Rodgers is a better quarterback than Watson. I’m not going to tell you different. Rodgers will most likely win his third MVP award in just a few weeks, so while he gives the Packers a better opportunity to win the Super Bowl this season, the long-term view favors Watson. The former Clemson standout is entering the prime of his career, as he’ll be just 26 years old next season.

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If you are Green Bay, would you rather have a Super Bowl window of another year or two with the 37-year-old Rodgers, or would you rather have a decade long window to win a championship with Watson? Don’t forget, the Packers are going to trade the former Cal quarterback within the next two years anyway because they moved up to draft Jordan Love in the first round this past offseason. If you are going to move on sooner rather than later, I’d rather pivot to Watson than an unknown commodity in Love.

Other teams with aging quarterbacks even have less of an argument to hold onto their current starter than the Packers do. Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger, Tampa Bay with Tom Brady, New Orleans with Drew Brees (although I’d be shocked if he does decide to return in 2021) and even Seattle with Russell Wilson all would be better off ditching their guy to bring the current Texan on board. The NFL is about sustained success. Winning a title in the short-term is great, but consistently contending year in and year out is just as important. Watson provides both of those options.

CONSISTENCY:

Despite organizational chaos, Watson’s play has stayed consistent throughout his short career, and it’s been consistently good. In the three years he’s been healthy for a full season, Watson has made the Pro Bowl all three times. The former first round pick has been able to keep the ship afloat despite seeing three general managers come and go. Rick Smith, the man who drafted him, stepped away to tend to his ill wife. Brian Gaine took over before he was relieved of his duties after one season. Bill O’Brien was able to wrestle power away and become both the head coach & general manager before he was canned during this past season.

Despite all of the turbulence and turmoil going on in the front office, Watson was still able to stay focused and play at his best. When looking across the league, consistent quarterback play is far from a given. Guys like Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Ryan Tannehill, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Jimmy Garoppolo all have had up and down careers. Some have reached highs greater than what Watson has achieved so far, but all have reached lower lows that have led to bad play and questions about their future in some cases. Watson has been more consistent than all of these guys above, another reason why he would be an upgrade for all of those teams.

Eric Christian Smith/AP Photo

PRODUCTION:

Finally, we reach the production side of Watson’s game. Not only has he been one of the most dynamic players we’ve seen the past few years, no single caller has done more with less. Heading into the 2020 season, O’Brien thought it would be a savvy business decision to trade away one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and Watson’s security blanket in DeAndre Hopkins for an injury prone running back and a second-round pick. Not only did Watson have one of the best receivers taken away from him, he also had to deal with a Houston rushing attack that was the second worst in the entire league while also getting sacked the second most times of any quarterback in the NFL.

Despite that, Watson had himself a career year. He led the league in passing yards (4,823) and finished second in passer rating behind only Rodgers. Watson threw 33 touchdown passes, a career high, while only tossing seven interceptions, a career low. He also set a career high in completion percentage (70.2%), which was good for third in the league.

How many quarterbacks are having career years after their top weapon was taken away, their run game was nonexistent and their offensive line doubled as a turnstile? From the production perspective, Watson would be an upgrade over Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, Justin Herbert and even eventual No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence.

Whether it’s the age of Deshaun Watson, his consistent play or his production, 30 out of the 31 teams should be begging the Texans to trade the franchise quarterback to their team. It’s unprecedented to have such a dynamic player at the most important position in sports become available, so when the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself, there’s no excuse to not pull the trigger.

WWE Royal Rumble and Covid 19

WWE Royal Rumble and Covid 19

This year’s Royal Rumble is different from every other One held. Due To the threat of the pandemic fans will not be allowed to be in attendance for the Royal Rumble at Tropicana field in Tampa Florida. The Royal Rumble is known for having large crowds and makes the atmosphere exciting for every wrestling fan. Without it you lose the potential of having a massive pay per view draw. The question still remains. Should the WWE allow fans but at a capacity limit and apply guidelines? Most people would agree that There should be fans allowed in to see the road to WrestleMania kick off but without that live fan reaction it’s hard for the performers to get that energy. This year The Royal rumble is only available to attend virtually but as a fan it’s not the same as being at a live event. The Royal Rumble is one of WWEs biggest pay per view events and has been the focus for decades. It will be interesting to see how the WWE does without fans at the Royal Rumble and add that effect as if fans were there. The Royal Rumble takes place Saturday, January 31st at 7pm EST only on the WWE Network.

NXT woman’s Dusty Rhodes tag team classic to be a show stealer?

NXT woman’s Dusty Rhodes tag team classic to be a show stealer?

For the first time ever NXT is holding the dusty Rhodes woman’s Tag team classic. Five teams have been announced so far to compete. Indi hartwell & Candace lerae, Shotzi blackheart and ember moon, Toni storm & Mercedes Martinez, and Kayden Carter & Kacey Katanzaro. All teams have made it known that they want to win the tournament, but who will have the edge and the upper hand performance wise? There are good teams set up in this tournament and NXT is giving women more and more opportunities to showcase to the world what they are all capable of. More teams are going to be announced into this tournament and it will be interesting to see who advances to the next round. No bracket has been posted yet for this woman’s tournament currently but Please stay tuned to Off The Mat for updates on a bracket.

Top 5 Biggest Surprises of the Season (so far)

Top 5 Biggest Surprises of the Season (so far)

We are through ten games of the 2020-21 season and we have seen a lot of stories so far. From games getting cancelled, to James Harden asking out of Houston and finally getting traded, here are the five biggest surprises through seven percent of the season:

5. Nikola Jokić’s monstrous numbers:

Four months ago in the NBA bubble, the Denver Nuggets made history. They became the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in multiple series after defeating the Jazz 4-3 and the Clippers 4-3. One of the main reasons for those two comebacks was Nikola Jokic. After trailing 3-1 against the Jazz, Jokic averaged 28/8/6 on 54/57/100 splits in Game 5-7 in route to advancing to the second round for the second consecutive year. After Game 4 against the Clippers, Jokic averaged 24/17/8 on 52/38/80 splits in Game 5-7 as the Nuggets advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in almost a decade. This season, despite the Nuggets slow start, it’s hard to ignore what Jokic has been doing. He’s averaging 24/11/11 on 58/41/82 splits (66% TS%, 62% eFG%). He would become the 3rd player to average a triple double in a season after Oscar Roberton and Russell Westbrook (3x). He’d be the most efficient to do so.

4. Jerami Grant’s leap:

This past fall, the Denver Nuggets fell to the Lakers in five games in the WCF. A key detail the Nuggets were paying attention to when the off-season started was Jerami Grant. Grant decided to decline his player-option and enter free agency. After defending the likes of Paul George, LeBron James, Donovan Mitchell, Kawhi Leonard, and Anthony Davis throughout the postseason, Grant decided to bet on himself and it paid off. He landed himself a three year deal worth 60 million in a Sign and Trade with the Detroit Pistons. In the 2020-21 season he’s averaging a career high in PPG (24.8), REB (6.0), FT% (86%) and PER (19.7). Overall he’s averaging 25/6/2 on 46/39/86 splits.

3. CJ McCollum tapping into another level:

Going into the bubble, the Trail Blazers weren’t a playoff team. They trailed the Grizzlies by 3.5 games and had eight games to prove they belonged with the 16 teams remaining that were playing for the Larry O’ Brien trophy. The bubble wasn’t good to CJ McCollum as he averaged 18/6/5 on 39/35/79 splits. The Blazers finished with a 35-39 record and an opportunity to reach the playoffs through the play-in game. In the play-in game, CJ delivered. He finished the game with 29 Points, scoring 14 in the fourth quarter as the Blazers punched their ticket for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year (second longest active streak in the NBA). It was reported by Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports West that McCollum “has been playing with a L3 vertebral transverse process fracture”. At 100 percent this season, CJ is averaging a career high in PPG (27.6), REB (4.3), AST (5.3), STL (1.4), 3P% (43%), 2P% (51%), eFG% (59%) and TS% (62%). Overall, he’s averaging 28/4/5 on 47/43/84 splits (62% TS%). Lastly, CJ ranks first in 3PM (59).

2. The Sixers impressive start:

The Philadelphia 76ers were swept by the Celtics in the first round of the 2020 Playoffs. After a seven year tenure, the Sixers decided it was time to move on from Brett Brown. Under Brown, they made the playoffs in the previous three years. They also decided to move on from Elton Brand as the President of Basketball Operations (he is now the general manager). They hired Doc Rivers as their new head coach and Daryl Morey as the President of Basketball operations who has done an excellent job thus far. He traded Josh Richardson for Seth Curry, and signed Dwight Howard as a backup center who won the championship with the Lakers this past October. They also drafted Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe and Paul Reed. All of this has led to the Sixers starting at 9-4 as well as Joel Embiid’s impressive play, who, if the season ended tomorrow, should be awarded the Most Valuable Player award. Embiid is averaging 25/12/3 on 54/39/85 splits (65% TS%, 57% eFG%). In his fifth year he’s been the most efficient in his career and it’s been reflected in his performances. Another reason why the Sixers are 9-4 is due to Tobias Harris’s play and Curry’s efficiency from 3. Harris is averaging 19/8/3 on 51/45/84 splits (61% TS%). Curry is averaging 17PPG shooting 60% from 3 on 5 3PA (leads league).

1. I mean… Was there ever a doubt?

We all know what the biggest surprise of the season has been so far. Even the people that don’t watch basketball know what the biggest story of the season has been so far. James Harden asked to be traded this past November and he finally got granted his wish. Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Caris Levert, four first-round picks and four draft swaps. They got another team involved as they sent Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince to the Cavaliers. After this, the Rockets traded Levert for Victor Oladipo and acquired Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs. All four first round picks and all four first-round pick swaps acquired by the Rockets are all unprotected. In his nine year tenure with the Rockets, Harden averaged 30/6/8 on 44/36/86 splits, scoring over 18,000 points. With the Rockets, Harden was named an All-Star in all 8 years and was a 6x All-NBA First team member. Harden currently holds the longest streak of consecutive All-NBA First team appearances at four. He was the NBA Assists leader and a 3x NBA Scoring champion, becoming the first player to average 35PPG in over 10 years. Lastly, Harden was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in the 2017-18 season. With Harden, the Rockets made the playoffs all eight years (longest active streak in the NBA), making the Western Conference Finals on two separate occasions. The Beard will now reunited with Kevin Durant whom he played with for three years on the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kyrie Irving who’s a 6x NBA All-Star and was a fundamental piece in leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA title.

Kyrie MIA?

Kyrie MIA?

What is going on with Kyrie Irving? He decides to leave his team for what reasons? Is Irving even worth all this drama? In the summer of 2019, Irving signed a 4 year, $136 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets, and to say the least, this contract has not gone as planned with Irving only playing 20 games last year and now taking personal time away from his team.

There are absolutely no excuses for these actions by Irving deciding to take time away from his team unless there is a family matter he needs to take care of, the only thing that is more important than basketball is family and that is it! Having the privilege and god given talents to play in the league is a job, that millions of people dream to get an opportunity like that every day of their lives. It is not okay to step away from work just because you feel like it, there are many Americans who work 40+ hours a week who can’t afford to take off one day, a job way less fun, paid way less, and significantly more stressful all to provide and put food on the table for their families.

And now we have athletes who are getting paid hundreds of millions to play the game they love the most and feel they can take off as they please? I don’t think so, it comes off as greedy and unappreciative especially to those who would give up their lives to be in Kyrie’s shoes, being the starting Point Guard for the Brooklyn Nets getting paid over $36 million per year. I am all for players having power in terms of player movement, that is great for basketball and great for business, it is exciting and a reason the NBA is regarded as the most exciting off-season. But the actions of Irving, and any player who decides to take time off because they feel like it, is unacceptable. You get paid to play, not show up as you please.