BY EVGENY KRINITSYN`
While the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare to contest Super Bowl LV (February 7), Deshaun Watson’s trade future is another hot talking point in NFL circles.
The Houston Texans quarterback should be of particular interest to the Chicago Bears, who finished the 2020 NFL season 8-8, restoring some honor thanks to a 3-1 finish in their final four games. It’s widely believed the Texans—who finished the season 4-12 and are currently without a head coach—will lose their star shot-caller after he’s grown disillusioned with his prospects in Houston, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
There are several prominent reasons as to why many may not believe a Watson move to Chicago is possible. Betrivers online sportsbook is offering Illinois-based customers the chance to bet on where the 25-year-old will play come the start of the 2021 NFL season, with Houston still his most favored employers at betting odds +200.
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That’s a fraction of the +1400 odds that he’ll begin next season with Chicago, whose quarterback situation is in some state of disarray. Super Bowl LII winner Nick Foles has failed to bring the touch of class many hoped he would in an essential role, while Mitch Trubisky—whom the Bears picked second overall in the 2017 Draft—doesn’t look like the long-term solution.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune recently wrote that, despite concerns over the cost, the Bears would have no problem creating the salary cap space needed to sign Watson. Not only that, but Biggs allayed fears regarding the future of wide receiver Allen Robinson, who is rumored to be discontent with the franchise. In fact, the addition of a star quarterback like Watson could well boost Robinson, safe in the knowledge another superstar is joining the cause (provided he’s paid what he feels he’s worth).
With Watson possibly available to the right suitor, Chicago should be doing their utmost to land the upgrade in such a key position, even if it meant giving up considerable capital in future drafts. NFL insider Ian Rapoport broke down Watson’s current predicament, suggesting he could be intent on leaving regardless of who’s coaching the team, such are his grievances with the owners.
The Bears entered the 2020 season as odds +3500 Super Bowl outsiders, per this Big Game betting guide, having failed to win the greatest prize in American football since 1985. Chicago—who finished as Super Bowl runners-up in 2006—are at even longer +5000 odds to lift the title in 2022, according to Betrivers sportsbook (Illinois).
Watson—who threw more passing yards than any other QB this regular season (4,823) and holds numerous Texans records—would chop down those odds considering the potential in Chicago. Robinson is a top-level target at the disposal of Matt Nagy, while Watson would instantly augment the rush department, which already includes a top prospect in running-back David Montgomery.
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The Bears boasted one of the best rush defenses in the NFL this season, allowing only 11 running touchdowns during the regular campaign (the joint-second-lowest total in the league). That’s one foundation in particular for the team to build from, and Watson is a substantial upgrade if they’re to make back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time since 2005-06.
The transformation won’t come overnight, but the Chicago Bears have the tools at their disposal to sign a potential Super Bowl champion in Watson and must make the efforts to complete a move that could in turn help restore the franchise to its former glory.
Deshaun Watson’s NFL Team for 2021 Season Kick-Off Odds
|New York Jets||+400|
|San Francisco 49ers||+1000|
|New England Patriots||+1100|