The Texans continue to insist Deshaun Watson is unavailable, but the three-time Pro Bowler has dug in on his plan to leave Houston after four seasons. If the Texans make him available, several teams will certainly push to acquire him.
The Broncos can be counted as a team that will pursue Watson if he becomes available, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. Amid this potentially historic offseason of quarterback movement, Denver does not plan to make a move for Carson Wentz, Renck adds. The Broncos were loosely connected to the Eagles passer last week, but thus far, only the Bears and Colts have been mentioned as surefire Wentz suitors.
Having started nine quarterbacks since Peyton Manning‘s 2016 retirement, the Broncos certainly make sense as a Watson bidder. They would join the Panthers and 49ers in that regard, with the Dolphins, Jets and others likely set to enter the fray as well. The Broncos exchanged offers with the Lions for Matthew Stafford but were not mentioned as one of the teams willing to part with a first-round pick. Would the Broncos make a real push for Watson, it would require perhaps three first-rounders.
With the Broncos not among the teams that have two first-round picks this year, a Watson pursuit could require the team going into its 2023 draft haul — or gutting its 2021 and ’22 drafts and parting with young players — and do so shortly after hiring a new GM (George Paton). Paton was reluctant to part with young assets for Stafford, though trading for a 33-year-old one-time Pro Bowler and 25-year-old three-time Pro Bowler are certainly different conversations.
Watson has the Broncos on his list of preferred destinations, with Denver safety (and ex-Watson Houston teammate) Kareem Jackson pitching the franchise to him on multiple occasions. That list, though, may feature the Dolphins and 49ers residing ahead of the Broncos. Miami and San Francisco have coaches nowhere near the hot seat; Vic Fangio is certainly there or close to it in Denver. A Fangio firing would likely mean OC Pat Shurmur exits as well. While Kyle Shanahan‘s standing as the 49ers’ play-caller is rock-solid, the Dolphins have featured instability here under Brian Flores. After having two offensive coordinators in Flores’ two seasons, the team now has a co-OC setup (George Godsey and ex-Broncos assistant Eric Studesville).
The Broncos have long been expected to add a veteran to compete with inconsistent incumbent Drew Lock. Watson or Wentz going to Denver would mean a Lock demotion. While Lock presently sits atop Denver’s depth chart, the franchise being consistently connected to QBs could change that standing soon.
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