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.

Thursday Night Football: Broncos at Jets Preview

Thursday Night Football: Broncos at Jets Preview

The NFL begins Week Four of the 2020 season in New York, as the Jets host the Broncos.

Both teams off to 0-3 starts

The Jets started 0-3 for the ninth time in 2020, while Denver did so for just the fourth time (since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970). Both teams started 0-4 in 2019.

Strengths

Not many. Both teams possess pitiful offenses. The Jets rank 32, and 30 in points scored and yards, while the Broncos rank 30th in points and 29th in yards.

The Jets -325 yard differential is the worst in the NFL, as is their -7 TD differential. Sam Darnold and Jeff Driskel both rank 31st among QB in Pro Football Focus with a 54.4 rating.

The Broncos failure to protect Driskel could cost them if the Jets can generate a consistent pass rush. Driskel’s 78 dropbacks generated 11 sacks for the opposition, while the Broncos rank fifth-worst in the NFL in QB pressure (31 percent of dropbacks). 

Synopsis:

Judging both teams through three games, look for this game to be decided on a turnover. I predict the Jets will force Driskel into a mistake, providing the deciding score.

Final 

Jets 17 Broncos 13

History

The only previous time the Jets and Broncos played on Thursday night, Tim Tebow ran for the game-winning score with 58 seconds remaining. Denver started on their five-yard line and went 95 yards in 12 plays culminating in Tebow’s 20-yard TD run.

Overall, Denver holds a 20-16-1 lead in the series. The Jets won the last meeting 34-16 at the Meadowlands in 2018. Sam Darnold threw for 3 TD in the victory.

NFL Week Two Preview: 49ers at Jets

NFL Week Two Preview: 49ers at Jets

Another disastrous season appears on the horizon for Gang Green, while San Francisco receives a gift from the NFL schedule.

Strengths vs. Weakness

Last week the Jets made Josh Allen look like Barry Allen, as their defense could not contain the third-year QB. New York finished last in Week 1 in opponent time of possession, allowing Buffalo 41:17. New York allowed 98 rushing yards, but 57 came from Allen on 14 attempts (allowed just 41 yards on 18 attempts from conventional running plays).

Both teams should pass the ball much better against each other than their week one opponents. However, the Jets offense does not feature a playmaker such as DeAndre Hopkins, responsible for 56 percent of the receptions and 66 percent of receiving yards against San Francisco.

The 49ers’ weakness against Arizona saw Kyler Murray run past their defense for 91 yards. San Francisco won’t fear the same from the Jets, as Sam Darnold legs rarely earn rushing yards (206 rushing yards in 27 career starts). Without worrying about LeVeon Bell or Jamison Crowder, Nick Bosa should find plenty of chances to impact the game.

Kyler Murray ran through the 49ers defense for 91 yards in the Cardinals 24-20 win over San Francisco in Week One.

On defense, the Jets allowed the Bills to complete 55 percent of their passing plays (10th worst in week one), but no plays 30 yards or more. That allows Jimmy Garoppolo to find receivers underneath coverage. Despite missing both Deebo Samuel and George Kittle to injuries, Jarick McKinnon and Raheem Mostert provided the Niners two big passing plays against Arizona. Brandon Aiyuk makes his NFL debut and should receive multiple opportunities to make it a memorable one.

Series History

The Jets are 1-6 all-time against the 49ers at home. Their only victory was in 2004 with Tim Rattay behind center for San Francisco. Overall, the Jets are 3-10 against the Niners but did prevail in their last matchup 23-17 at Levi’s Stadium (12/11/2016).

Synopsis

The Niners’ issues of closing out games haunted them in their Super Bowl loss and Week One. However, Sam Darnold does not possess the weapons and consistency to apply the same result. Look for San Francisco to dominate TOP with consistent high-percentage passes and provide some playing time for their backups late in this fourth quarter.

Final Score: 49ers 27 Jets 13 

The last time? 

-The Jets played the San Francisco at home, the Jets starting RB on Sunday, Frank Gore, led the Niners with 62 of their 247 rushing yards in a 34-0 win. The 49ers outgained the Jets by 236 yards (381-145).

-The Jets hosted the Niners in their home-opener was 1992. Steve Young threw two TD and ran for another as the Niners opened a 31-0 lead before allowing two Ken O’Brien passing TD in garbage time.

Despite getting sack four times in their 1992 meeting, Ken O’Brien threw two late TD passes in the Jets 31-14 loss to the Niners in their 1992 home-opener.

Interesting Note

Ken O’Brien’s two late TDs in the 49ers 31-14 victory in Week three of 1992 are the only TD passes for Jets QBs in their last five games hosting San Francisco (163 pass attempts).