By: Eric Mintzer (Twitter: @MintSports)
Could Deshaun Watson be a Chicago Bear?
- Chicago Bears
In the 2017 Draft, Bears GM Ryan Pace traded up from the number three pick to the number two pick. Infamously, the Bears selected Mitchell Trubisky second overall. Later in the first round, the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes, then the Texans selected Deshaun Watson. While Mahomes is going to be a Chief for a long time, Chicago should try again for Watson.
In 2020, while switching between Nick Foles and Trubisky, there was little consistency in the Bears passing game. As a result, the Bears averaged only 228 passing yards per game, which ranked in the bottom ten in the NFL. Both Tribusky and Foles threw eight interceptions while combining for 26 touchdowns.
Conversely, Watson led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards, while throwing 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Clearly, Watson outperformed both Chicago passers but also ran for 4.9 yards per attempt. In contrast, the Bears as a team averaged only 4.2 yards per rush.
Unfortunately for Chicago, the Bears only converted on 34.6% of third downs, the second worst in the league. Their offensive struggles game to a boring point in Week 10, during a loss to the Vikings.
On Monday Night Football, the Bears only managed 149 yards of offense. After their bye, the Bears completely changed their offense to focus on the ground. As result, David Montgomery scored seven touchdowns in their final five games, after having only one in their previous ten.
Over their final six games, the Bears averaged 382 yards of total offense. This shows that Head Coach Matt Nagy still possesses the offensive mindset he learned from Andy Reid in Kansas City. However, instead of Mahomes, Nagy is limited by Trubisky. Imagine, if Watson were under center for the Bears.
If the Bears were to trade corner Kyle Fuller and their first-round pick (likely around 20th depending on their playoff success) then they would be able to afford Watson. Obviously, for the Bears offense to thrive, they would need to retain Allen Robinson, who had over 1000 yards receiving. Naturally, Robinson would be much more inclined to stay with Deshaun Watson at quarterback.
2. Washington Football Team
Surprisingly, the Washington Football Team are in the playoffs, by virtue of the NFC East. Despite a 7-9 record, Ron Rivera and company will coach a home postseason game this weekend. Incredibly, the Washington Offense, only averaged 317.25 yards per game, the third-worst in the NFL. Just like the Bears, the Washington football team had their own inconsistencies at quarterback.
In Washington, the season began with now released Dwayne Haskins at starter. In six starts, Haskins threw five touchdowns and seven interceptions, averaging 205 yards per game. As a team, Washington went 1-5 in games that Haskins started. Ultimately, Haskins was released because of repeated violations of the NFL’s COVID protocols.
Haskin’s successor for Washington, Kyle Allen, was efficient before suffering a season-ending injury. Finally, Alex Smith took the reins and won five of his six starts. But, Smith is 36 and playing after a gruesome injury. Clearly, he is not the long-term solution at quarterback. However, a perfect solution would be Deshaun Watson.
In Washington, Watson would be teaming with Terry McLaurin, who hauled in 1,118 receiving yards. In the backfield, rookie Antonio Gibson caught 81.8% of passes thrown to him, 12th best in the NFL. Finally, Coach Ron Rivera has proven success with quarterbacks. In 2015, when Cam Newton won MVP, Ron Rivera was his head coach.
In return, Washington offers a chance for Houston to get back into the first round of the 2021 draft. Currently, Houston does not pick until the 3rd round because their first two round picks belong to Miami. Additionally, Washington has more than enough money in cap space to take on Watson’s contract. If Houston were to begin a rebuild, then a cheap Alex Smith might make sense for a year.
3. Denver Broncos
Like most of us, the Broncos did not have a great 2020. In the preseason, Von Miller suffered a season-ending injury. Next, lead receiver Courtland Sutton was injured on the first drive of the season, not to play again. Adding to their woes, the Broncos had to play a game without a quarterback.
When the Broncos did have a quarterback, Drew Lock was not very good. In his second year, Lock regressed in completion percentage, touchdown percentage, and increased his interception percentage. In 2020, Lock tied Carson Wentz with a league-leading 15 interceptions.
However, the Broncos do not lack weapons. In the 2020 draft, the Broncos selected highly touted prospect Jerry Jeudy. In addition to Jeudy’s immediate impact, the Broncos saw production from Tim Patrick and tight end Noah Fant. Next, with a healthy Courtland Sutton, the Broncos have an excellent receiving group.
If the Broncos were to acquire Watson, then they would immediately have one of the best offenses in the NFL. With Von Miller and Bradley Chubb returning from injury, the Broncos defense will be better as well. In 2021, Watson would turn the Broncos into a contender overnight.
Unlike Chicago and Washington, Denver did not make the playoffs. Therefore, the Broncos can offer a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft. Also, the Broncos only have enough cap space to take on half of Watson’s contract. Lastly, if the Texans are going to rebuild then Drew Lock is a low risk option at quarterback.