Food for QB Carousel Thought

Think of this as a thought experiment.

This offseason has been, and continues to be, quite exciting in terms of quarterback movement. We're likely to see plenty more major QB trades this offseason, and there's a very high likelihood that the Jets are involved in one of those. Considering this hasn't happened before on this scale, much of what is currently being discussed is entirely unprecedented. As a result, we've got a lot to think about, and a lot to consider as we dive into this.

I'd like to bring up a few points.

The Dolphins and Deshaun Watson.

Starting with this tweet:

(Which is sourced from this article)

Let's consider. We're in the middle of misinformation season. Every team is out trying to push it's preferred storyline to both their fans and opposing teams. So with that context, any information that is presented must be considered with the thought in mind of "Who does this help?".

In answering that question, truth is, I feel like it helps the Dolphins in one way: No team ever wants their QB to feel slighted, disrespected, or not trusted. The Dolphins likely do not want this from Tua, and are trying to get ahead of the issue by releasing snippets that they want to build around him. We've seen teams walk back on statements like this before (such as with Josh Rosen), but we need to consider the ramifications of such a statement.

When it comes to Watson, they Dolphins have every reason to remain quiet. In this way, they don't openly cause frustration with Tua (and can deny it), yet they remain solidly in the bidding for Watson. Not only that, but even if they choose not to trade for Watson, saying that they're interested (or at least continuing to hold that illusion) forces the Jets to be willing to pay more. They also are likely to assume that there is a high likelihood that the first two selections in the draft will be QBs regardless of what team is picking at 2, and as such, there is little reason to hide their interest in selecting/acquiring a new QB if that is indeed their plan. From my personal point of view, it appears that the Dolphins have all to gain and nothing to lose by either remaining quiet or showing some interest in trading for Watson.

For this information to come out, it makes me believe that this is indeed their plan. That they do actually want to stand with and support Tua. Which, if I'm right, and this is the case, is hugely beneficial for the Jets in their pursuit of Watson.

If the Dolphins aren't willing to trade for Watson, the Jets have no real competition in the Watson sweepstakes. There is no other team that can guarantee a top 4 QB in the draft (in a draft where the top 4 are highly regarded and *could* all be drafted in the top 4 picks in quick succession) that would be willing to trade for Watson. This is huge leverage for the Jets, and could take possibly one or two first round picks away from any potential trade with Houston. This is as critical as a bit of information as any if true this offseason.


The Russell Wilson Situation

Now the real curveball came in this week with Russell Wilson openly stating his issues plain for all to see. Russell Wilson went on the Dan Patrick show - notably not promoting any brands, including very little self promotion of his own businesses - with seemingly one goal. Russell wanted to let the media know his personal gripes. This was as blatantly orchestrated as you can get in the NFL, with Jason La Canfora reporting on this initially just the day before, followed up by interviews such as Dan Patrick and Russell, as well as notably both D.K. Metcalf and Jamal Adams on the Lefkoe show both (while sponsored by Gatorade) finding at least one moment to note the greatness of Russell. Brandon Marshall, who played with Russell and indubitably has some form of active communication line with him, stated that he believes that Russell is trying to make a clean break from the Seahawks. It's also important to note that Dan Patrick right from the start of the interview pointed Russell to comparing himself to the likes of Brady and Mahomes, with Russell noting that there was "nothing" that neither Brady nor Mahomes could do that he himself couldn't. What we were then left with, was an open question of if he was available, as well as what his demands are of the Seahawks or any team that chooses to pursue him.


So where does this leave the Jets?

Well, it's been well documented that Russell (who has a no trade clause, and would pick his destination if traded) has a strong tie to NYC via his wife, Ciara. Ciara is in and of her own right a superstar, and would favor NYC over most if not all situations. One also would think (as Peter King and Mike Florio noted in the Pro Football Talk Live podcast earlier this week) that Robert Saleh, with his many years of experience with and against Wilson, would aggressively pursue a trade for Wilson.

If Wilson were to be up for sale, I'd wager that the Jets would be a frontrunner for him. While I personally still think he stays with the Seahawks for at least one more season, this situation should be front and center on the Jets radar in the months to come.


An interesting Hypothetical

Now here's where I'd like to have some fun, and consider a situation that I don't believe I've ever seen put forward before:

Let's say that both the Texans and the Seahawks decide to give in, and both Russell and Deshaun are firmly on the trade block. According to many different statistics and performance trackers, both of these QBs are top 5 in the NFL, and many believe that on any given sunday, they could be the best in the NFL. So for the purposes of this situation, let's consider their level of play to be perfectly equivalent, and considering they have similar play styles, let's assume that they will both finish playing in the NFL at the age of 40.

With this in mind, we should now compare their notable differences: Russell has won a Superbowl, showing that he has what it takes to climb to the very top of the mountain. He also is fresh off winning the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and considering his history in the NFL, would bring a level of credibility and a pedigree of winning that is only matched by Rodgers, Brady, and Mahomes. Deshaun, while amazing, is not *as* established as those other QBs (though I do believe that he could very well be a consistent MVP candidate in the right situation).

On the other hand, Deshaun Watson is 7 years younger and has a cheaper contract (and likely will continue to, considering how aggressive Wilson's agent is).


This raises two final questions that I'd like to consider. The first of which being foremost, who do you prefer? Would you rather trading for the established and great Wilson, or the QB about to enter his own prime? Personally Wilson is my favorite non-Jet, but Watson seems like the higher value option.

But for the sake of argument, let's ask one final question: Does both being available simultaneously lower the cost for either? In basic supply and demand, as supply goes up, the cost of the product drops. If there are double the amount of high value QBs, does the cost for either of them drop - especially the only buyer with extremely high value selections (the Jets) can only trade for one? That, I'm not sure of, but I do think it's an interesting point to note. If SEA and HOU have to compete for the #2 overall pick, do they each accept less in a trade in order to ensure to their franchise and fans that they will have some option to select as a QB in the upcoming draft?


Overall, we're facing a wild offseason, and frankly, I can't wait for the heat to pick up. Let me know your thoughts! Am I crazy? Did I raise some interesting questions? Please let me know in the comments below!

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