The Denver Broncos Should Have Waited for Deshaun Watson Instead of Landing Russell Wilson

The Denver Broncos kicked off the entire NFL frenzy by acquiring Russell Wilson in a massive trade with the Seattle Seahawks. Just hours after Aaron Rodgers announced he was returning to the Green Bay Packers, the Broncos landed the longtime Seahawks signal-caller in hopes of fixing their long-overdue problem at the position.

The addition of Wilson is a playoff-caliber move for the Broncos, and some even pegged them as a Super Bowl contender. There is zero doubt that acquiring Wilson is a massive upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock, Brock Osweiler, Tim Tebow, and all the other quarterbacks that played for Denver since Peyton Manning retired.

But, one can’t help but think that they might have been better off waiting for Deshaun Watson’s legal issues to be resolved.

The Broncos acquired Russell Wilson in a blockbuster deal, but why not wait to make a run at Deshaun Watson?

First things first, there is a lot to unpack from how things played out.

The Broncos had been rumored players in the Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes. Unfortunately for them, Rodgers stayed in Wisconsin. That left the Broncos scrambling for an answer.

They decided to trade for Wilson, and he is a terrific quarterback worthy of turning things around in the Mile High City and bringing the Broncos back to the playoffs — and hopefully a Super Bowl.

However, the price they paid for Wilson was costly: two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, Drew Lock, Shelby Harris, and Noah Fant. That is a hefty price for a QB that turns 34 at the end of November.

There is no denying that Wilson is well worth it for Denver. But why not wait and make a run for Deshaun Watson?

Watson had been rumored as a potential option for Watson, and once his legal issues came to an end, the sweepstakes for him began. Four teams were listed among the finalists, and arguably none of them have a better roster than Denver.

The Cleveland Browns acquired Watson for three first-round picks, a third-round choice, and a fourth-round selection. On top of that, the Browns gave Watson a questionable fully-guaranteed $230 million extension.

So, side-by-side, the deals are pretty similar. Watson netted the Houston Texans one more first-rounder, but Wilson earned the Seahawks a pair of second-round choices and a trio of players that should earn playing time in the Pacific Northwest.

If the Broncos were really interested in Watson, why not play the waiting game? There is risk involved with Watson, but he has a ton of talent and is younger than Wilson by a reasonable amount.

Deshaun Watson should have been the Broncos starting QB

For over a year, the Broncos were rumored to be one of Watson’s preferred destinations. It made sense all along, especially with the weapons Denver has. Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, and Javonte Williams lead the offense, and the defense is loaded with talent.

New head coach Nathaniel Hackett would have done wonders with Watson — and he probably will with Wilson. Nonetheless, the Broncos might regret the decision not to wait around for Watson.

Remember last June when Broncos DB Kareem Jackson dropped the big Watson rumor?

Watson would have loved to play with the Broncos. Yet, they didn’t even take a chance to bring him on board. Watson turns 27 in September and is seven years younger than Wilson. The Texans QB was one of the best in the NFL during the 2020 season, even with a subpar offense.

Things would have been much different in Denver if Watson ended up there, and that offense with the ceiling of the former Clemson star would have been a sight to see.

Of course, his legal issues were a primary concern for everybody and prevented him from being traded during the 2021 season. Plus, there is a possibility that Watson missed a portion of the 2022 season.

Lastly, the Broncos might not have given Watson $230 million in guaranteed money. But that might not have mattered if Watson really did want to play in Denver.

While the Broncos’ addition of Wilson is a home run, who knows what this team would look like if Watson were the QB.

Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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