NFL insider Aaron Wilson gave an update on Deshaun Watson’s trade market, and it included a noteworthy excerpt regarding the Denver Broncos.
According to Wilson, the Broncos have been interested in Watson for over a year, but they are hesitant to trade for him due to the accusations he is currently facing.
The Denver Broncos have had interest in Watson for over a year, per sources. Yet, they have some understandable hesitation given the potential reputation fallout due to the graphic and unproven accusations he’s facing and the fact that the team is for sale.
Watson is currently facing 22 civil cases for allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior. His first deposition is scheduled for March 11th per Wilson.
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Two Teams Remain Interested in Watson
On the football field, Watson is an exceptional player. In 2020, he led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards, and he had 36 total touchdowns and only seven interceptions. At age 26, he is just entering his prime.
However, trading for Watson does carry considerable risk at this point in time. Any team interested in acquiring him might feel safer waiting until the cases are resolved, before entering into any trade discussions.
With the Broncos’ ownership situation up in the air, their hesitancy about Watson makes a lot of sense.
Still, Wilson noted two teams remain interested in Watson: the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders. The Commanders have been aggressively pursuing a quarterback. They reportedly made a strong trade offer for Russell Wilson.
So, it is no surprise that they are in the mix for Watson.
However, the Eagles are somewhat surprising. 23-year-old quarterback Jalen Hurts played well last season. Pro Football Focus gave him the 14th-highest grade among quarterbacks. Entering his third season, Hurts still carries considerable upside.
They also have quarterback Gardner Minshew II on the roster. Last season, Minshew had four touchdowns, one interception, and a quarterback rating of 104.8, across four games.
The Broncos Are Exploring Many Options at QB
Obviously, Aaron Rodgers is Plan A for the Broncos. If they do not land him, the door is open for many possibilities.
They have been linked to many options in the upcoming NFL draft. At the NFL combine, they met with Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, Sam Howell, and Kaleb Eleby.
On the free-agent market, Marcus Mariota and Tyrod Taylor are logical targets, as well.
Finally, they could always stick with Drew Lock and use their cap space and draft picks to build up the rest of the roster. Mike Klis of 9news wrote that sticking with Lock is a “longshot possibility”.
Option B would likely be to pick up a veteran “bridge” quarterback — Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater and Mitch Trubisky are the best in a thin free-agent class while sticking with Drew Lock remains a longshot possibility – and then follow it up by also drafting a quarterback within the first two rounds.