In his most recent article, Bill Barnwell of ESPN threw out 17 hypothetical Deshaun Watson trade scenarios, ranked from least to most likely — and his likeliest one involves the Bears sending their 2020 first-round pick and some change as part of a three-way trade. The Bears wouldn’t land Watson in Barnwell’s proposal, but they would still snag a new, young quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa.
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3-Way Trade Proposal Sends Tua to Chicago
As a rookie for the Miami Dolphins in 2020, Tagovailoa started nine games, going 6-3 in that span. He showed flashes of undeniable potential, but he also had a penchant for rookie-like mistakes. The 22-year old quarterback (he turns 23 in March) completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards, three rushing touchdowns, 11 passing scores and five interceptions. He was also sacked 20 times and had one fumble.
The Bears are sure to move on from former second overall pick Mitch Trubisky this offseason, and with that in mind, here’s what Barnwell proposed in this three-way trade scenario between the Bears, Texans and Dolphins:
Dolphins send: 3rd, 36th and 113th picks in 2021, 2022 first-round pick, 2023 fourth-round pick (to Texans), QB Tua Tagovailoa (to Bears)
Texans Send: QB Deshaun Watson, G Senio Kelemete, 2022 third-round pick (to Dolphins)
Bears send: 20th overall pick in 2021 (to Texans), 2022 fourth-round pick, 2023 conditional pick (to Dolphins).
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Barnwell: Matt Nagy & Tagovailoa Could Be Interesting to Watch
Bears coach Matt Nagy has only worked with Trubisky and Nick Foles in his three seasons with the Bears, and Barnwell thinks Tagovailoa might be interesting to see in Nagy’s offense. He breaks down his logic for the proposal thusly:
By introducing the Bears, we can make a more logical deal. The Texans get three first-rounders, including the No. 3 selection from the Fins and the 20th pick from the Bears. The Dolphins get Watson and Kelemete, who would represent interior line depth for a team that needs the help up front. Miami still has its own first- and second-round picks to add weapons for Watson, but it’s in position to compete for the AFC East immediately. The Bears send their first-round pick and a future fourth-rounder to start over at quarterback with Tagovailoa, who would be the low-cost option they need as they try to retain an expensive veteran core. He would be due about $10 million guaranteed over the next three seasons, and his ability to throw on the run would play up under Matt Nagy. Tagovailoa might just turn out to be the next Trubisky, but the Bears don’t have many other options under center. Miami would get a conditional pick in 2023 if Tagovailoa emerges as a star.
While the Bears technically remain players in the Deshaun Watson Sweepstakes, they are dark horse candidates to land his services at best.
But until the team addresses the most important position in sports, the bizarre trade proposals and wild suggestions will just keep on coming — and until their draft capital and cap space are in a better place, developmental players like Tagovailoa — who was the fifth-overall pick in the draft just last year — may be all that is available to them.