NFL

Watson, Wilson and the best QBs potentially still to move this NFL offseason

By Sports Desk March 12, 2021

Another offseason sees another scramble for quarterbacks in the NFL.

Last year, Tom Brady was among those on the move and he ended the 2020 season with his first Super Bowl title in Tampa Bay and seventh in total.

Already in 2021 there have been significant deals at the position again, including the Los Angeles Rams' big play for Matthew Stafford, deeming him a significant upgrade on the expensive, underperforming Jared Goff.

There are big names remaining on the board, though, and we take a look at the state of play.

 

DESHAUN WATSON

It is not every day a QB of Watson's quality becomes available – and the Houston Texans might still argue he is not. But the 25-year-old was bogged down by a poor team last year, finishing 4-12 despite leading the league in overall passing yards (4,823).

Watson wants out, and the Texans would be well advised to listen to any serious offers if the alternative is to let one of the league's top talents sit on a massive contract.

The asking price will surely be high. Stafford, 33, threw for 4,084 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2020 – beaten by Watson across the board – and set a precedent when he went to the Rams for Goff, two first-round picks and a third.

What does that make Watson worth? Well, his desire to depart might bring the value down slightly, but Houston would surely expect picks as well as a QB prospect.

TUA TAGOVAILOA

Tagovailoa was the fifth pick just a year ago, but the Miami Dolphins might already be interested in moving on, especially if that means a trade for Watson.

Although there were signs of Tagovailoa's promise as he won his first three NFL starts, 2020 ended with his benching in a Week 16 comeback win and then three costly picks in a Week 17 defeat that saw the Dolphins miss the playoffs.

Miami might feel a move for Watson would make them contenders, while the Texans could use a talent like Tagovailoa in their rebuild.

There is a complication, however. The draft picks Houston would receive alongside Tagovailoa in return for Watson would be the same selections they spent themselves in a deal for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. In order to save face, an alternative package might appeal.

SAM DARNOLD

Such an offer may well materialise elsewhere in the AFC East. The New York Jets are likely to have an interest in Watson if they move on from Darnold and do not want to try again in the draft with the second pick.

That would have been the first selection had the Jets not inexplicably rallied to two wins, gifting Trevor Lawrence to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The signing of Watson would significantly soften that blow, but it would most likely mean the Texans taking on Darnold, who has played for two more years than Tagovailoa and is still to show he is really up to the task. A career tally of 45 TDs and 39 interceptions for a passer rating of 78.6 does not compare favourably.

His team even failed when apparently tanking. Houston would hope a Darnold-led rebuild would fare better.

JIMMY GAROPPOLO

This busy market might have piqued the interest of San Francisco 49ers fans looking for a more reliable option at QB, where Garoppolo has started only 30 games in four years. It could be time for him to move on.

The landing spot for the 29-year-old would seemingly be New England, a place he knows well having previously served as Brady's understudy on the Patriots.

Brady stuck around longer than expected, so Garoppolo moved to San Francisco and performed well in 2019, starting all 16 games for the only time in his career and throwing 27 TDs before making the Super Bowl.

That proved the peak, however, with defeat in the big game, although the Pats look to be interested again having failed to properly replace - yes – Brady.

CAM NEWTON

Newton was the man Bill Belichick initially turned to, agreeing a one-year deal with the former MVP that makes him a free agent again this year.

A return to New England cannot be entirely ruled out, although a team and coach used to Brady's brilliance never really adjusted to a QB who threw only eight TDs.

Newton might have other options. Washington head coach Ron Rivera knows the player well from their time together with the Carolina Panthers and could be more appreciative of his other talents, notably a running game that brought 592 yards and 12 TDs on 137 carries in 2020.

JAMEIS WINSTON

Winston, once a number one overall pick, is another man heading for free agency. He spent last season with the New Orleans Saints but found himself third choice, behind utility player Taysom Hill, and participated in only 51 plays.

It was a far cry from the previous year when Winston was Tampa Bay's starter and involved in just about everything, remarkably throwing 33 TDs and 30 interceptions.

That 2019 campaign encapsulated how chaotic the 27-year-old can be, but he would argue he deserves to at least be competing for a start somewhere. If not back to New Orleans, Winston could be headed for somewhere like Washington and a team looking to change things on the cheap.

RUSSELL WILSON

Wilson certainly would not come cheap. And it seems improbable he would come at all, regardless of the suitor.

But noises of unhappiness in Seattle, where the Seahawks failed to give their superstar quarterback the help he needed, were followed by Wilson's agent saying only moves to the Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders or Chicago Bears would appeal.

Dak Prescott's new deal in Dallas closed that avenue, while the Saints and Bears are already set to be way over the cap. Any blockbuster move for Seattle's most prized asset could change the entire complexion of this offseason, though.

Related items

  • Man City's nervy win at Newcastle 'good lesson' ahead of Champions League final – Guardiola Man City's nervy win at Newcastle 'good lesson' ahead of Champions League final – Guardiola

    Pep Guardiola said Manchester City's wild 4-3 win over Newcastle United is a "good lesson" ahead of the Champions League final against Chelsea.

    City returned to the pitch for the first time since clinching the Premier League title this week and Guardiola's side survived a seven-goal shoot-out on Friday.

    Powered by a Ferran Torres hat-trick, City erased two deficits to set an English record with their 12th consecutive away win – one more milestone after securing their third league title in four years on Tuesday. 

    Following one or two days of "distractions" and just one training session, manager Guardiola said he was not expecting perfection against Newcastle as he made five changes to his XI, including giving 35-year-old goalkeeper Scott Carson his club debut. 

    Carson made his first Premier League appearance since May 2011 for West Brom, a gap of nine years and 357 days. It is the sixth longest gap between appearances in Premier League history, and the longest ever for a goalkeeper.

    With the ultimate prize looming in the Champions League final against Chelsea on May 29, Guardiola expects his team to learn from their close call in Newcastle.

    Guardiola said during his post-match news conference after City recorded their 23rd consecutive unbeaten away game in all competitions (W21 D2) – the longest ever undefeated away run by a side in the top four tiers of English football, overtaking Notts County's run of 22 in 2012.

    "The way they fought and the way they run and the way they come back after 1-0, after 3-2, and being there and making a step forward – they know it. It's not necessary to tell them.

    "They know if you want to win or compete against Chelsea in the final, of course you have to earn it.

    "It's better to happen today. Then maybe, maybe it's not going to happen in the final."

    Ferran Torres – who arrived from Valencia at the start of the season – became the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick for a team managed by Guardiola (21 years and 75 days), overtaking Gabriel Jesus who was 21 years and 218 days against Shakhtar Donetsk in November 2018.

    "I'm delighted for the three goals," Guardiola said. "He has incredible numbers for a first season in England, he has incredible numbers. He didn't play for a period of two months, he didn't play much and he came as a winger who can play on both sides.

    "He can make incredible runs in behind but maybe we have to start to think about if he can play as a striker because every time he plays in that position he has a sense for goal, a real sense for goal.

    "Today he produced an incredible first goal with the header, but the last two... I think the last one is an example of that intuition. It's intuitive, to know exactly where the ball comes and being there to score a goal.

    "He was fantastic all season and an incredible signing for us. He's a young player and can play in three positions up front. Not just in one, he can play in three. But playing in the more central position the guy has an incredible sense of goal."

  • Ohtani's start for Angels pushed back due to fatigue Ohtani's start for Angels pushed back due to fatigue

    Shohei Ohtani's next start for the Los Angeles Angels has been pushed back due to fatigue, according to manager Joe Maddon.

    Ohtani was scheduled to start on the mound against the Cleveland Indians in MLB action on Tuesday but those plans have changed.

    Maddon said the Angels are being cautious with the two-way star, who remained in the line-up as a designated hitter against the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

    "We're going to move him back, but we don't know to when," Maddon said prior Friday's clash with the Red Sox.

    "But there's no blisters. Nothing. Just being proactive. It's in his best interest, too.

    "To me, the day after he pitched the other day, he looked a little bit fatigued at the plate. It set off a little bit of an alarm for me."

    Japanese sensation Ohtani has been red-hot for the Angels this season.

    On the mound, Ohtani boasts a 2.10 ERA through five starts, with 40 strikeouts while allowing just 11 hits, six earned runs and two homers after giving up just one run across seven innings against the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

    Ohtani, meanwhile, has 11 home runs as a hitter this season, plus 37 hits, 27 runs and 27 RBI. He boasts a .266 batting average, .311 OBP, .604 SLG and .915 OPS.

    Maddon added: "We're just giving him time to recover. I'm just concerned about when he's going so well offensively and maybe if he's a little fatigued, he'll want to keep going back out there again.

    "If you're feeling good, you might wanna fight that fatigue. But I think the conversations, as we get deeper into the season, will be a little bit more involved.

    "I expected that from the beginning and we're not there yet, but you want to avoid any fatigue that can compromise him in any way."

  • Burns takes AT&T Byron Nelson lead with career-low 62, Spieth slides and Koepka misses cut Burns takes AT&T Byron Nelson lead with career-low 62, Spieth slides and Koepka misses cut
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.