Deshaun Watson Demands Trade; Don’t Count Out Chicago
The night of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Chicago Bears traded up a single pick with the San Francisco 49ers to select Mitchell Trubisky out of North Carolina, and the rest was history. Now, almost four years later, the Bears have an opportunity to make right on this decision.
Just yesterday, it was reported that Deshaun Watson was unhappy with the way the Houston Texans were operating their offseason searches for their new general manager and head coach. Adam Schefter of ESPN writes that Watson offered input on potential general manager candidates, but the Texans neither considered nor consulted with those endorsed by Watson. Schefter writes that the team also did not even tell Watson they were hiring former New England Patriots executive, Nick Caserio, and that Watson found out about the decision on social media. This dilemma comes after last offseason in which Houston also did not inform Watson that they were trading star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona.
The Texans continue to frustrate their quarterback in the head coach search as well, Mike Florio references Albert Breer in his article on NBC Sports when he writes, “Per Breer, Watson advocated for the Texans to hire Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. The Texans, however, became the only team with a vacancy to not even interview Bieniemy.” This is telling, because Eric Bieniemy has served as Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator, and Patrick Mahomes’ coach for three seasons now, including a 38-10 overall record, 3 straight AFC West division titles, and 1 Super Bowl championship. He obviously is not a fluke, so what is it Houston is doing? Do they want to start over? Are they trying to drive Watson out?
According to Schefter, there has already been speculation that Watson could demand a trade. If the team were to trade Watson, it would have to absorb a salary-cap charge of $22 million, and even still it could take a treasure chest return of draft picks and players.
Enter: The Chicago Bears
The Bears enter this crazy mess shrouded in a veil of mystery. Nobody knows what is going to happen in Chicago following the conclusion of this season. The team backed into the playoffs as the #7 seed in the NFC with an 8-8 record, the same record they finished with in 2019. The only thing fans know for sure, is that Matt Nagy is likely to return as the head coach in 2021. There are still rumors flying every which way in the form of if Ryan Pace will be fired or not, and if the team plans to extend, franchise tag, or let quarterback Mitchell Trubisky walk via free agency. It is extremely likely a new GM could come into Chicago and seek to change the offense, and defense for that matter, up in order to land a talent like Watson, who is now under contract until 2026. However, in doing so, the Bears would likely need to part with one of their pro bowl caliber defenders including but not limited to Khalil Mack or Eddie Jackson. Let’s face it, Chicago, the defense in 2020 has not been anywhere close to the 2018 model we expected when Pace signed linebacker Robert Quinn to his 5-year mega deal. I’m sure most Bears fans would agree that one defensive player and a couple of draft picks would be worth it to finally get a franchise quarterback that they have been so desperately longing for. The answer last season was Nick Foles who went a whopping 3-5 as the team’s starter and drove the Bears from 5-1 and atop the NFC to 5-5 and crawling into the bye week. The Bears need to find a NFL-ready quarterback now. They are in no position to land Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields in the draft, and it is my strong belief that Deshaun Watson is their best answer.