QB You Would Trade For: Matthew Stafford Or Deshaun Watson? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The NFL trade market for quarterbacks is already heating up despite there being two weeks before the Super Bowl. As the media continues to fall all over themselves trying to find a new home for Houston’s Deshaun Watson, another veteran quarterback was placed on the trading block this weekend after the Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford agreed to part ways this offseason. Of course, these rumors create the simple question, which QB would you want your team to trade for in 2021: Deshaun Watson or Matthew Stafford, with the answer being both simple and complex.
It is difficult to imagine two more different quarterbacks then Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson. Putting their numbers aside, Stafford has been a consummate professional in Detroit, dealing with coaching changes, and an organization that didn’t necessarily treat winning as their top priority. That, while in recent months Watson signed a contract extension in Houston, and then ran around acting as if he was the CEO demanding to be part of every football decision regarding players on the roster, coaches on the sideline, and people in the front office. Now, both quarterbacks are reported to be on the trading block, with blockbuster deals being thrown around like a 2:00 drill, with everyone wondering what will happen next to both players.
Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract and has reportedly told people that he is only open to being traded to the AFC East, specifically the New York Jets or Miami Dolphins. Of course, by talking about his desires with anyone, Watson is only hurting his own trade value since both those teams know he is giving the Texans few options, driving down what teams should offer for him. By contrast, Stafford and the Lions mutually agreed to part ways at a time when the team is rebuilding, there are new coaches in place, and the team needs a new identity.
Another important difference between the two QBs is their age; Watson, who turned 25 early in the 2020 season will be seven years younger than Stafford, who turns 33 on Super Bowl Sunday. That age difference puts a wrinkle into how each will be handled on the trade market assuming that Watson wises up and expands the number of teams he is willing to play for. Watson did lead the NFL in passing yardage this season, however, he did so on a 4-12 team that was often playing from behind, allowing him to pad his stats in meaningly possession. Stafford reportedly battled through many injures this season for a team that was out of the playoff chase early, earning respect of his teammates and, just as important, front office executives around the league.
We already know that Watson is signed for the next four years, while Stafford is a much cheaper option salary wise and is only inked for 2021 and 2022. This difference makes Watson more likely to draw interest from teams who may wish to forgo drafting a quarterback in lieu of taking a known commodity. Stafford, on the other hand, would be more likely to go to a better team that needs a quarterback the way Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay last offseason, and took an 7-9 team to the NFC Championship Game this year. In short, trading for Watson would provide a team with a little bit more time to build around him, while Stafford might be more of a win-now acquisition.
I really don’t believe the Jets or Dolphins will trade for Deshaun Watson at full market value, so if the player has his heart set on those two destinations, things might be tough for him when he is still playing QB in Houston next season. Watson should, in theory, bring a lot back to the Texans in a trade, but with his recent “diva” behavior, I would believe the smarter general managers in the league will tread very carefully before pulling the trigger on a trade.
Stafford should land with a team that feels they are or at least can build up a winning team around him faster, such as the New England Patriots; who went 6-10 with little talent and a very limited quarterback in Cam Newton running half the team’s offensive playbook. One option that could fit either or both quarterbacks is a swap, with say Jimmy Garoppolo, who could go to Houston or Detroit and a new quarterback goes to San Francisco. Two other options could be Indianapolis and Washington, who had teams good enough to compete or reach the postseason; but need a QB upgrade to become true contenders in 2021.
I am not a strong supporter of diva players who have won little or nothing in their sport, and when you take into account how unprofessional and, to be fair, stupid Deshaun Watson is dealing with his current situation, I would not trade a bag of footballs for him at this point, I don’t care how talented of a QB he may be. For many teams, Matthew Stafford is the better choice at quarterback, and with the right team and coaching staff could still lead a team to the playoffs, and do some damage.
With all that said, it is likely that both of these players will be on new teams in 2021, making for more headlines and conversation all offseason, which is exactly what sports likes in the social media era. Because either you are talking about the games just played, or those that will be soon.
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QB You Would Trade For: Matthew Stafford Or Deshaun Watson? | TooAthletic.com