As another season comes to a close, Bears fans are still asking themselves the same question — who will be the next franchise QB? Seeing as the Bears do not hold a top-ten pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, fans are clamoring for Ryan Pace to go make a move in free agency. The Bears may now have an additional option in the trade market as well.
Adam Schefter reported today that Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson officially requested a trade weeks ago and it just became public knowledge today. The Texans have since hired a new head coach, David Culley, but that will not change Watson’s mind.
Schefter followed up with a report that Watson hasn’t talked to Houston executive Jack Easterby or general manager Nick Caserio.
Back in 2017, the Bears passed on Watson for Mitchell Trubisky, who has proven to be a bust under head coach Matt Nagy. While fans blame both poor QB play and bad coaching, the fact is Nagy’s contract — and the Bears upper management brass — says he’ll be in Chicago through next season. A change at QB is much more possible, however.
This gives Ryan Pace an opportunity to right one of his biggest wrongs to the Chicago fan base in passing on Watson. While it would come at a significant trade cost, a playoff run could save Pace’s job.
The biggest issue is the Bears are already up against the salary cap. Pace would need to move several significant pieces to make room for Watson’s contract on the Bears roster.
It would come as no surprise to Bears fans if Watson took a pass on the team, however. George McCaskey and Ted Phillips put on a dumpster fire display in their end-of-season press conference. It also showed that if things go bad this year, the McCaskeys could blow up the organization’s leadership structure. Watson is requesting a trade from a rebuilding Texans team. Why would he want to gamble on the Bears?
When it comes to on-field factors, the Bears may potentially lose their leading receiver, Allen Robinson, in free agency. Anthony Miller has not blossomed into the player many thought he could be. The defense was stacked in previous years but is now aging out of its competitive window. Beyond the uncertainty of the aforementioned roster pieces, the Bears would need to move some key contributors to even compete for Watson’s services on the trade market.
All in all, Bears fans should monitor Watson’s situation but not get their hopes up.