Could Deshaun Watson don Chicago Bears blue and orange next season?
According to the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook, that’s a reasonable possibility.
The star quarterback has formally requested a trade from the Texans, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Watson has a no-trade clause, though Schefter indicated on Thursday that Watson would be open to coming to Chicago.
Despite playing on a woeful Texans team last year, Watson threw for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also led the league in yards per attempt at 8.9.
At just 25 years old, he’s going to command a hefty return if Houston ultimately decides to deal him.
Here are Watson’s next team odds at the DraftKings Illinois sportsbook.
Deshaun Watson next team odds
|New York Jets||+300|
|San Francisco 49ers||+800|
|New England Patriots||+1000|
|Washington Football Team||+1400|
|New Orleans Saints||+1600|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+2000|
|Los Angeles Rams||+3300|
|New York Giants||+3300|
As you can see, while the Chicago Bears aren’t the favorite to land Watson, they are in the top five.
One key thing the Bears have going for them? Desperation.
Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are fighting for their jobs. If they don’t win double-digit games next season, it’s hard to envision either returning.
Therefore, expect the Bears to try to take a big swing at the quarterback position.
Pace, by the way, passed on Watson (and Patrick Mahomes) in the 2017 NFL draft to select Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears GM has hit on a lot of players in his tenure, but that massive decision continues to haunt him.
If the Bears traded for Watson, he would easily be the best quarterback in franchise history.
So, what could hold Chicago back? Pace simply might not be able to offer as robust of a trade package as some others on this list.
The Bears will select 20th in the upcoming NFL draft, likely not high enough to grab one of the top quarterbacks in the class.
With that said, they have all of their own high draft picks in the coming years. They also have some attractive young pieces in Roquan Smith, David Montgomery, Darnell Mooney, Jaylon Johnson and Cole Kmet.
With that said, outside of perhaps Smith, none of those players project as future stars. Watson is a superstar at the most important position in sports, so he’s going to go for a haul.
Perhaps the Bears can get creative and trade up for a higher pick in the 2020 sraft to flip to Houston.
But that’s easier said than done. The Bears are in the discussion to land Watson, but a few teams can offer more attractive assets if they so choose.
Other destinations that make sense
New York Jets
The Jets have the No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft. If they used it as a centerpiece in a Watson deal, the Texans could select their quarterback of the future in Justin Fields or Zach Wilson.
New York also has plenty of cap space, which would be enticing to Watson. Heck, if Watson is traded to the Jets, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them sign Allen Robinson away from the Bears.
And because the Jets are picking so high, they could also offer the 34th overall pick in this year’s draft. That’s only 14 spots lower than the highest pick the Bears can offer.
The Panthers are picking eighth in the draft. So while they aren’t in as good of a spot as the Jets, they would be in striking distance to select a QB.
Teddy Bridgewater could also be a potentially attractive asset for the Texans, as he’s on the right side of 30 and coming off a decent season.
The Jets would likely have shorter odds than the Panthers, but we don’t know if Houston would prefer to deal Watson to the NFC.
As for Watson’s preference, he would have the chance to play in a familiar region and team up with Christian McCaffrey, arguably the best running back in the NFL.
The Dolphins have the No. 3 pick in the draft. Yes, that used to belong to the Texans.
They also have an intriguing young QB prospect in Tua Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa wasn’t particularly impressive as a rookie, but he’s a year removed from being the No. 5 overall pick.
The Dolphins can put together a heck of a package if they want to make a run at Watson.