Dak Prescott is no longer an option for NFL teams in need of a franchise quarterback. His extension isn’t shocking, but it does make for an interesting debate on the “what’s next” for some teams.
OutKick founder Clay Travis believes there’s still one player out there who could be the savior for a current mid-tier competitor, not a bottom-dweller but a franchise with a stable roster. That one player is Deshaun Watson.
On OutKick the Coverage this Wednesday, Clay broke down why he believes Watson can be this year’s version of Tom Brady.
“The only real difference-maker, I believe, that could theoretically be available on the marketplace, in terms of going to a team and being the Tom Brady of 2021, is … Deshaun Watson,” Clay said.
So what does Clay mean by that? Well, Brady completely changed the outlook of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the day he signed. They may have had promising pieces on the roster already, but inconsistent QB play had held the team back significantly.
Brady wasn’t the only free agent addition. Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and others made contributions as well, but Brady was the one who helped bring those guys to Tampa Bay. His presence changed the perception and instantly made the Buccaneers contenders.
Clay believes it’s unlikely Russell Wilson gets dealt, which makes Watson the only feasible transcendent talent left. If added to the right team, the Clemson product could turn a middle-of-the-road franchise into a Super Bowl favorite.
Which franchises might that be? Clay listed seven of them.
“Here are the teams that I believe are fully in the mix to potentially make a move after Deshaun Watson because, with everybody else on their team, they have a chance to win a championship,” he started. “I think you have to look at the Bears, the Washington Football Team, the Patriots, the Miami Dolphins, the Jets, the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers.
“To me, those are seven teams that, if they had the right quarterback, they could suddenly become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 2021.”
The only team on that list anyone could question would be the New York Jets. They’re a logical destination because they have the cap space and draft capital needed to acquire Watson and to add other pieces around him, but their current roster isn’t overly exciting.
But Clay is 110% correct on the other six teams, and it would be fun to see him with any of them.
My favorite of those six teams would either be the Broncos or 49ers.
Like Tampa Bay, Denver is loaded with young, ascending weapons, such as Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, KJ Hamler, Tim Patrick and Phillip Lindsay. The defense needs some work, but having Watson in the same division as Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert? Yes, please.
The 49ers also have weapons (George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, etc.), but the main appeal is Kyle Shanahan. Who wouldn’t want to see that marriage?
Washington would also be a good landing spot. The offensive line is underrated, and the emergence of young weapons such as Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson would give Watson a nice pairing. Plus, there’s a complementary defense already in place.
In order to hear Clay argue his point in more detail, check out Hour 2 of the show from Wednesday.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.