2021 Dynasty-Fantasy Offseason Notes (1/19/2021)…Deshaun trade, Bears new QB, Hurts, Chark...
-- Is Deshaun Watson going to get traded from the Texans?
We’ve entered the era of the star player being able to force his way out of a situation, if he wants it bad enough. I’m not saying it is right or wrong…it’s more ‘right’ by me -- because who wants to work in a place they don’t want to work? 20+ other teams would be willing to take Watson off the Texans’ hands, so he’s not leaving Houston high and dry.
Watson has the support of all the players – those on the team and off. He has the full support of the media, and most all the fans. Watson holds all the public cards.
The Texans don’t have a ton of options. And the Texans are under assault by the media. The Texans did it to themselves…they’ve made themselves sitting ducks and now they’re backed into a corner. The Texans ownership/management has two choices…
1) Give in to Watson and save face – this is the route I would take. Take your beating. The other path/option (we’ll discuss) is too complicated and likely ends in destruction.
If I owned the Texans, I would set up a meeting and go to wherever Watson is and apologize and then let Watson literally pick the new coach. See who is on his list, make sure you’re OK with anyone on the list…then conduct interviews with Watson present and whomever he selects from the list, go with it.
Once you do that, you have the media and Watson off your back. You look weak, but you need to salvage face with the community and the media…you need to protect the value of the franchise. Who cares about winning? A bunch of dopes are still gonna paint their faces blue and red and buy all your season tickets and a bunch of Watson and Watt jerseys. Who cares about winning a Super Bowl at this stage – when your franchise is crumbling in front of you. You’ve shown no ability to fix it anyway, so maybe Watson’s coaching pick will succeed where you’ve failed to build a real winner.
The biggest thing is to keep the franchise value and revenues and community connection up…not win titles.
You pay J.J. Watt a fair or inflated price to keep him, for all he has done with the community, and you make Watt and Watson a committee to pick the next coach. Then, you sit back and let Watson and Watt take the blame if it all collapses (and odds are it will…only 1-2 teams ever sustain greatness for more than 2-3 years)…or you enjoy the fruits of success if they are right. If you think letting the players pick the next head coach is crazy…as opposed to what? The GM and owner picking it? Like that’s a guarantee for success?
I’d let Watson and Watt pick the head coach and tell the new GM (Cesario) and spiritual advisor guy (Easterly) to just work around it…or leave. I wouldn’t tell them my real reasoning, or they’d blab it – so, I’d just say Watson and Watt are too important to the Texans community and they will pick the next coach and anyone who doesn’t like it can leave.
Then, I sit back (as owner) and let them do their thing – if they build a winner, I’m a genius. If they faceplant…I’m mostly off the hook. Win-win.
I’d blather to anyone and everyone that Watson and Watt are making the choice, and I’d tell them it needs to be a minority hire – and then (as owner) you gain all the media goodwill while at the same time you subtly make it clear all the future blame goes to Watson or Watt if it doesn’t work…and you revel in the success if it does work. You can’t lose.
2) You can do what obstinate, spoiled son-of-deceased owners are prone to do – muck it all up.
Spoiled owner’s son (and there are plenty of ‘family of the deceased’ running teams and ruining football across the league, it’s not a new phenomenon) will take all this personally, as a challenge to their authority, and they will try 200x harder to prove they are ‘the man’ -- and thus trading Watson is the way to win the pissing contest.
You win the battle (trade the malcontent) and lose the war (you’re going to be under full assault by the media and you will lose much of the fanbase’s confidence).
Once you take on Watson (i.e. the entirety of the football media) you have no room for error after. You better win a Super Bowl ASAP if you deal away Deshaun (after dealing away DeAndre Hopkins). When you don’t win nine Super Bowls in a row…you will be crucified in the media everyday…and lose fan support that you’ll never get back easily.
Houston is suddenly on the verge of becoming the old Cleveland Browns – the franchise players don’t want to go play for. It’s going to be hard to find a head coach to walk into that environment – you’ll attract retreads in it for one more big payday (i.e. Doug Pederson…or like what Mike McCarthy did to Jerry Jones) because they don’t care about legacy as much as their bank account (which isn’t bad of them to do…it’s legal, you just don’t want that coaching/leading your ailing franchise).
Everything can be solved (for the moment) if the Texans hire Eric Bieniemy. If that happens, then you know the Texans ownership family took option #1 (above). If they hire someone Watson doesn’t want…then for sure Watson is gone, you’ll know they chose door #2 as their plan – that they’re going to show Deshaun who’s in charge! And they will wreck the entire franchise for a good 5-10 years by doing so.
Will Deshaun Watson be traded? The answer first lies within who the head coach is in the next few weeks.
What legit head coach wants to come into Houston and be a part of trading Watson? Taking path #2 (above) is incredibly stupid…but when teams are run by people who inherited it/not earned it – stupid decisions abound.
-- You know who the Bears 2021 Week 1 starting QB might be?
Minshew rose to power with O-C John DeFilippo in Jacksonville in 2019. Minshew showed he was a legit NFL starting QB right away. DeFilippo was fired after the 2019 season, after one year with the Jags. He was then hired as the QB coach for the Bears.
What happened with DeFilippo in his one year (2020) with the Bears?
1) They acquired Nick Foles – who DeFilippo rose to power with Philly, as the QB coach in that Super Bowl season. Foles was then signed to a huge deal to be the Jags franchise QB…and DeFilippo brought in as O-C for the Jags as part of the package/plan. We know how that turned out.
2) Mitch Trubisky actually got better in the 2nd-half of the season…some of that credit has to go to DeFilippo, no? DeFilippo has to have some credibility in Chicago, yes?
Do you think Urban Meyer wants Gardner Minshew hanging around? The Jags would deal Minshew away for nothing. The Bears could acquire him, ditch Foles, and still draft a young QB to groom. If the Bears don’t get whatever QB they think they want from this draft…that Minshew deal could happen easily day one or two of the draft, but they should do it early/ahead of the draft as the Jags will likely dump Minshew and have some takers wanting Gardner as a great backup or challenger to a struggling young QB.
-- Keeping with the QB theme…
It looks like the Eagles might be setting up to make another run at Carson Wentz starting. That’s the media word on why Doug Pederson was fired.
However, it doesn’t make any sense to me. If Pederson wanted Wentz out so bad…why didn’t he insert Jalen Hurts into games earlier…and then why didn’t he pull Wentz as starter earlier when everyone on the planet was calling for it? If the owner was pressuring him to stick with Wentz, then there would have never been a change in the first place.
It might be all a blitz of fake news, that began with ‘Doug Pederson is coming back’ stories right after Week 17.
It’s possible that the Eagles are trying to salvage Wentz’s trade value by making it seem like they want him to start in 2021. Or they could really want that.
I know this – if you thought Doug Pederson lost the locker room and the fans with the Nate Sudfeld move…the owner should see what happens when they try to push Wentz over Jalen Hurts. We will have another Deshaun Watson-like media coup on our hands in Philly, and Wentz will be destroyed for good.
The only solution that makes business sense for the Eagles is for them to ditch Wentz and install Hurts.
Josh McDaniels as head coach…you’d think that’s a move with Jalen Hurts in mind, no?
-- If you’ve read my Trevor Lawrence CFM Scouting Report, then you might be ready to move D.J. Chark per that same vibe…and I said as much in the report.
Let me restate the case, briefly…and then make a quick guidance statement:
What’s on my radar – if Trevor Lawrence is not the world’s greatest QB of all time (but still good/fine just not a god), then it means D.J. Chark as the team’s best/#1 WR is going to be heavily overvalued as Lawrence’s ‘guy’, in theory.
My guidance – People haven’t fully made that Lawrence-Chark connect yet. We probably have to get past the Super Bowl and into the full offseason and let the Draft talk really heat up…and then FF analysts will start talking about Chark as being the obvious beneficiary of the world’s greatest QB of all-time, Trevor Lawrence. It will be an easy connection to make.
We’re not there yet, so you might need to wait to allow Chark to grow in value some more. Some people may already be into it…but know it’s going to be a talking point of the offseason and will raise Chark’s value even more.
I’d say Chark is a distrusted WR2.5-3.0 today in FF valuations for people. But if/when the offseason chatter starts rolling…he’ll be a strong WR2, maybe even WR1.5 valuation if the Lawrence as god talk really heats up.
Be ready to move Chark at any time someone is overheated on him, but you may need to wait a little bit for the stew to simmer into a boil. We’ve just turned the burner on in this event.
You need do nothing either…Chark is very good and Lawrence is going to be solid enough. It’s not a ticking time bomb like Tua-DeVante Parker/Preston Williams. I’m just keeping my eyes open for someone getting too hyped on Lawrence…and then realizing they’re hyped about Chark + Lawrence together.