After a breakout season in the midst of a brutal year for the New York Jets, Quinnen Williams wants to stick around for the long haul.
Armchair general managers of the New York Jets have routinely shipped off Quinnen Williams in hypothetical trades that often end with Deshaun Watson…or, after Thursday, Russell Wilson…wearing green (or, at least in Wilson’s case, a different shade of it).
But Williams made it clear this week that he would be the first to veto such a trade.
“I’d be disappointed…I really want to be a Jet for life. I like New York, and I want to play in New York,” Williams told Gelb. He referred to Watson as an elite quarterback but reiterated his desire to play in Robert Saleh’s defense. Williams was one of the first players to praise the hire of Williams, joining his former San Francisco pupil Richard Sherman. The Jets’ top pick in the 2019 draft (third overall) understands a potential trade is a business decision out of his hands. But the praise for Saleh continued on Gelb’s program.
“I just handle what I can handle, just control what I can control. Just go out and work hard as I can for any team that I’m on. Hopefully, it’s the Jets so I can play with Coach (Robert) Saleh, but any team I’m on, I just work my hardest so that when that comes around I can be the best player I can be.”
“To get the chance to see that scheme and that front four and just the different things Coach Saleh brought to that defense, I can’t wait to get around him and pick his brain and get him to bring that to the New York Jets,” he continued. “You can tell he brings passion to the game, passion to where he’s coaching, just passion…You have to bring passion, you got to bring love and dedication to your job. So you could see he brings all of that into coaching.”
This isn’t the first time Williams has found himself in the middle of speculation. His name was previously the subject of rumors during the 2019 trade deadline, but the Jets opted to stand pat. Their patience paid off. In the midst of a brutal 2-14 season, Williams established himself as one of the top interior defensive linemen in football. He led the Jets with seven sacks and ten tackles for a loss.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will be on the move this offseason, but not to the New York Giants. The team is priced out of a deal for him thanks to the high demands of the Texans. And while those demands seem to be a rumor so far, there’s no way the Giants can make a deal happen if they’re true.
The Rams-Lions trade will have nothing to do with a Watson trade if the Texans do it. They'll want 2 ones, 2 twos and 2 young defensive starters, at the least. Watson, 25, under contract, great QB, team leader, beloved by fans, pillar of the community. Start with the Jets.
We’ve seen some trade ideas that would send Watson to the Giants, from ones that could actually happen to those that seem to be from the realm of fantasy. But these demands look impossible for the Giants to fill, even moreso than some of the wild ideas such as sending three first round picks and Saquon Barkley to the Texans.
Many teams will be ruled out by the Texans’ demands
The Texans wanting two first round picks and two second round ones is already enough to scare off many teams, but two young defensive starters may just rule out most of the suitors for Watson. It should especially rule out the Giants, who don’t have the kind of depth to just ship off two young starters on defense as well as draft picks that will have a big impact on the future of their team.
It looks like the Jets might be in the market for Watson given these criteria. The Jets have less room to fall compared to the Giants, who have started to turn things around after hiring Joe Judge. Giving up talent wouldn’t hurt them as much. However, a rebuilding team like the Jets may also be scared off by the draft pick requirement. Those picks will likely play a big role in their future plans, after all.
At the end of the day, it’s easy to see why the Texans want so much for Watson – but don’t be shocked if no one takes the deal.
We’re probably going to hear about a lot of trade ideas involving the New York Giants soon. Some of them good, some not so good, and some of them flat out controversial. But ESPN analyst and former quarterback Dan Orlovsky might have made the most controversial proposal possible for a Giants trade this offseason.
The idea involves sending away Saquon Barkley, so a lot of people will be against it no matter what the Giants get in return. And it’s not hard to see why. The Giants have largely rested their hopes on Barkley’s career panning out over the next few years, allowing them to win without exceptional play from Daniel Jones and a strong running game. But this idea from Orlovsky says just a good running game isn’t enough to win big.
What did Orlovsky propose?
The analyst thinks the Giants need to pull the trigger on a deal for Deshaun Watson.
“If I was Dave Gettleman of the New York Giants, I would take Daniel Jones, I would take Saquon Barkley, and I would take three first-round picks and call Houston, and not allow them to get off the phone with me,” Orlovsky said. “As a general manager in this moment, if you ever were going to take a swing, this is the swing to take. As a general manager, the last thing you want to do is look back with regret that we didn’t try hard enough, that we didn’t throw in one extra first rounder. That’s the type of player and person you’re going to get with Deshaun Watson.”
Watson is one of the highest valued quarterbacks to ever leave his team in a trade – that is, he will be if the Texans make the decision to trade him.
It’s looking, though, like keeping Watson is becoming impossible for Houston. It’s only a matter of whether the Giants will get Watson, or another team.
Evaluating the trade idea
Trading Jones is understandable. The Giants wouldn’t need another starting caliber quarterback if they gain Watson. Trading three first round picks will make most fans take a pause. It’s a big price, and would hurt the Giants in the future if they can’t win now with Watson. Three first round picks plus Saquon Barkley is a king’s ransom.
And the Giants potentially could win now if they made this trade. It’s tempting to have a quarterback like Watson, but it would also carry significant risks. If they fail to start winning, they’d have to cope with trading away one of their best players and losing three first round picks. Those picks may be valuable if the Giants need to keep reshaping their team.
The Giants front office is many things and relatively conservative is one of them. The Giants aren’t typically a team to make a crazy deal like this one, so in the end, it doesn’t look like it’s likely to happen in reality. That’s not to say Watson definitely won’t end up a Giant, though. If the Giants can get a lower price, it’s easy to see them being in the market for his skills.
Some quarterback scenarios are more likely than others for the New York Giants, but it’s worth looking into all options. The Giants have been listed by many as one of the teams that could benefit from a Deshaun Watson trade, but there may be another high profile quarterback on the market – that quarterback could be Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers is, of course, the older player. He has a longer track record of success but also has less effective years less in the league. He’s 37 years old and it’s likely not long before his age shows more in his game on the field.
However, Rodgers is still an elite quarterback as of now and some QB needy teams may be interested. Here’s what ESPN had to say about the situation.
Sources around the league don’t believe Rodgers is on the trade market at this point, but if Rodgers asks for a trade, the belief is that a team — or teams — would be willing to part with a first- and either a second- or third-round pick for Rodgers.
A Watson trade could help set the market as well, but the expectation is that the Texans would be able to land more than what Rodgers is worth given that Watson is 12 years younger.
What would this mean?
It seems the Packers may ask for more if Watson is traded and Rodgers is left as the one high profile quarterback available for a trade this offseason.
Why should Giants fans care about this?
Obviously, Aaron Rodgers making the switch to the Giants is an unlikely scenario. Daniel Jones has more years left in the league, after all. But if the Giants wanted to win now at all costs and take the next step to getting back in the Super Bowl, a move for an aging Rodgers is one fringe but still somewhat interesting path.
At the end of the day, if there’s a Rodgers trade, it’s likely there will be other QB needy teams that reach out before the Giants do.
But with the amount of talk created about the possibility of a Deshaun Watson trade, you have to wonder if the Giants would consider making a different trade for a franchise quarterback if Watson was considered but ultimately not traded for due to his contract or the Texans’ demands.
The public facing part of the Giants organization has expressed loyalty to Daniel Jones so far. But if the Giants want to go in a different direction, there may be a very good quarterback on the market for less cost than Watson.
Will the New York Giants be trading for a quarterback this offseason? It’s highly unlikely after head coach Joe Judge firmly committed to Daniel Jones, but not impossible. General Manager Dave Gettleman can be unpredictable at times.
Gettelman traded away the face of the Giants’ franchise just a few seasons ago. It is not crazy to think Gettleman makes a move to acquire a player like Deshaun Watson or Matthew Stafford.
On Monday, BetOnline released odds on the potential destinations for both Watson and Stafford. The Giants were a 28/1 for Watson and 35/1 for Stafford. Vegas oddsmakers are not sold the G-Men will sit this one out.
The Giants are not the favorites to acquire one of these two quarterbacks. New York would have to give up valuable assets to acquire one of these quarterbacks, especially Watson.
What are the favorites?
The New York Jets are considered favorites to land Watson at 15/4, while the Indianapolis Colts are considered favorites to land Stafford at 3/1.
Watson came out publicly saying his preferred landing spot would be the New York Jets. Why not go to a team that has a more built-up roster, and there are still in New York, the Giants?
Ultimately, do not expect the Giants to be serious players for either Watson or Stafford. However, it would be foolish if Gettleman didn’t at least put a call in to see what the asking price is on both.
ESM opens its New York Jets offseason preview by pondering what they’ll do at the quarterback slot in 2021.
The Position: Quarterback On the Roster: Sam Darnold, James Morgan Free Agents: Joe Flacco Reserve/Future: Mike White
When will green smoke arise from One Jets Drive?
The New York Jets are once again pondering its future at the franchise quarterback slot, as a potentially turbulent stretch awaits. Many still have hope in the potential of Sam Darnold, but new regimes often bring sweeping changes to NFL franchises. The primary quarterback start is often the first spot to undergo a makeover. New York is in the second full year of Joe Douglas’ tenure as general manager, while Robert Saleh is ready to succeed Adam Gase as the head coach.
It’s easy to dismiss the struggles of Darnold as being trapped in a situation far from his own doing. In his three years at the helm, Darnold has eeked out flashes of brilliance despite endless waves of turmoil and turnover. To put things in perspective, only a single Darnold target from Darnold’s rookie season of 2018 was on the Jets roster in this past season, and that one outlier (fellow 2018 draftee Chris Herndon) hasn’t matched the promise shown in his debut campaign. The blocking wall in front of Darnold has seen more names flipped than the departures board at Grand Central Terminal. Long-term options in each spot have appeared to present themselves through Denzel Mims and Mekhi Becton respectively but with so many attractive names through both free agency and the draft presenting themselves, the temptation to start over might prove too great. Darnold’s early misfortunes when it comes to injuries also may not work in his favor, as he has yet to play a full NFL season.
In his opening statements as Jets head coach, Saleh praised Darnold repeatedly, noting the difficulty in scouting him when his former compatriots came to New York for a September tilt earlier this season. But, nothing the gap between winter and training camp, Saleh did leave the door open to change.
“He’s got an unbelievable arm talent. There’s a reason why he was the number three pick in the draft. He’s fearless in the pocket, he’s got a natural throwing motion, he’s mobile, he’s extremely intelligent, and he’s tough as nails,” Saleh said in video provided by the Jets. “We’re just getting the (coaching) staff into the building, so there’s so many things that we have to do from an evaluation standpoint with regards to the entire roster, not just at quarterback. To give you that answer right now would not be fair.”
Also under contract for the Jets is fourth-round pick James Morgan, who did not dress in any games last season.
The former Super Bowl MVP did a respectable job in four starts in substitute duties, throwing for 848 yards and six touchdowns. His Total Quarterback Rating, calculated by ESPN, of 57.9 was his best since 2014.
While Flacco could be brought back as a veteran mentor and backup to Darnold or the new, younger franchise man, the former Super Bowl MVP hinted that he believes he can still be a consistent NFL starter.
“I obviously still believe that I’m a starting quarterback,” Flacco said in May, per Andy Vazquez. “You never know what three years down the line is going to look like, so I still have that confidence and I still have the want, the want to to do that. But at this moment, that’s not my role.”
Will They Draft?
It’s very possible, depending on how the free agency market shakes out. Falling out of the top spot of the draft no longer seems like a tragedy it was made out to be after the College Football Playoff, particularly during its Sugar Bowl leg. Ohio State thrower Justin Fields outplayed presumed top choice Trevor Lawrence en route to a 49-28 victory, leaving the first choosers in Jacksonville a big decision to make while the Jets can swoop in and take who’s left. Of course, if the Jets land one of the names below, drafting a quarterback would be null and void.
If the Jets do decide to stick with Darnold, it’s possible they could use one of their day two picks (owning an extra through the Jamal Adams trade with Seattle) on a quarterback to raise the heat on the incumbent. Options in a relatively deep class could include Kyle Trask and Mac Jones.
Deshaun Watson, Houston
Not even the chase for the Super Bowl could derail the hype around Watson and his potential next destination. Things hit a green fever pitch over the weekend when Watson reportedly declared that New York would be his ideal destination. Saleh celebrant Richard Sherman has done nothing to dispel the rumors, joining Cris Collinsworth’s podcast to encourage Watson to get to the metropolitan area. It speaks volumes that Watson, who has also reportedly expressed interest in working with Saleh, would be willing to come to a team that is potentially rebuilding.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit
Over the weekend, ESPN Adam Schefter reported that Stafford and the Lions appear headed toward a divorce. The Jets, again, have the cap space to work with a big contract like Stafford’s, but, like Watson, it wouldn’t be fair to subject him to the franchise the way it is now…there is no Calvin Johnson on this team, at least at the moment. But since the Jets have the assets to work with, it would almost be foolish to not consider the possibility.
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis
Would the Jets be better off with a placeholder quarterback of sorts as they seek to regain their NFL footing? There are few better options than Brissett if they opted to go that route. Brissett faces a bit of a crossroads in his career, in that he could fight to regain the starting position with the Colts now that Phillip Rivers has retired, or seek a new opportunity elsewhere. He did a solid job stepping for Andrew Luck upon the latter’s sudden retirement and later developed a slight niche for coming in on short-yardage or deep-ball situations.
It seems safe to assume that the Jets’ quarterback situation will be different going into the 2021 campaign, whether it’s at the top or in terms of understudies. If prior regime changes across the NFL are any indicator, it seems that the Jets will indeed move on from Darnold, with the only question being whether it comes through the draft or free agency.
Opting to find a new franchise man through the draft might be a conservative but far more affordable option. Adding a name like Deshaun Watson to New York sounds like a lot of fun and the Jets have plenty of assets through draft picks and cap space to negotiate with. But the fact of the matter is that the Jets have many, many holes to fill beyond the quarterback spot…which, in the eyes of some, may not need to be filled in the first place. If there’s little left to spend to fill the other holes, then a player like Watson or Matthew Stafford would be no better off than when they started.
To spend a majority of the offseason budget on a single big-ticket item wouldn’t be smart. There’s time, however, to make the situation more attractive to an incoming rookie quarterback by parceling those assets through building blocking help and more weaponry.
A report from the Miami Herald has indicated that the outgoing Texan’s destination of choice would be the New York Jets.
According to a report from Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Deshaun Watson’s seeking an AFC East destination when his move from the Houston Texans inevitably comes. Watson’s first choice is reportedly the New York Jets, with the Miami Dolphins appearing in the runner-up slot.
Salguero’s report claims that Watson prefers New York over Miami because of the hiring of Robert Saleh as head coach. A separate report from Mike Florio of ProFootbalTalk claimed that Watson wanted the Texans to interview Saleh for their own head coaching vacancy but that Houston management wasn’t interested. Jim Caldwell and former Jets quarterback Josh McCown have been more recently linked to the search for Bill O’Brien’s replacement, but the refusal to bring Saleh in has only made the relationship between Watson and the Texans even icier. Noted Saleh celebrant Richard Sherman encouraged Watson to go to the Jets on Cris Collinsworth’s podcast, advising him to get out of Houston “as quickly as possible”. Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract.
Both the Jets and Dolphins own high picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. The Jets will choose second and Miami selects immediately after. Miami’s slot was originally held by the Texans, but they sent it to Miami in exchange for Kenny Stills, Laremy Tunsil, and a pair of day three picks. The Jets, however, may have more trade ammunition, as they own two first-round picks in each of the next two drafts thanks to a summer trade with Seattle that involved Jamal Adams. New York will also begin the offseason with the second-most cap space at over $65 million, behind only Jacksonville.
Watson is looking for new surroundings after the relationship between him and the Texans soured after a 4-12 season, one notably marked by the absence of top receiving topic DeAndre Hopkins, who traded to Arizona for rusher David Johnson and two picks beyond the first round. Despite the raw feelings, Watson posted a career-best 33 touchdown passes and 4,823 yards, the latter mark leading the league.
Notably, each of Watson’s preferred destinations has an established franchise quarterback option. The Jets will have Sam Darnold in the final year of his rookie contract, while the Dolphins’ offense struggled in Tua Tagovailoa’s rookie campaign last season. Saleh was noncommital when addressing Darnold’s future with the organization during his introductory statements earlier this week, but mentioned that was “premature” to call Darnold his top thrower entering training camp.
The idea of Deshaun Watson moving to the New York Jets sounds too good to be true. That’s because, frankly…it is.
Somehow, someway, the Houston Texans…a team blessed with the talents of one of the most recognizable names in football on each side of the ball, winners of four of the last six AFC South titles…managed to become a more toxic gridiron wasteland than the New York Jets.
To paraphrase the great Ron Burgundy, one can’t even be mad. It’s amazing.
The biggest story outside of the NFL playoff picture by far is the fate of Watson, the beleaguered franchise quarterback. No playoff games await Watson, but he is apparently nonetheless on a mission this postseason: to get out of Houston as fast as possible. It’s a liberation that has been brewing for some time and the rumbling has only intensified upon the end of the Texans’ 4-12 season. Adam Schefter of ESPN brought things to a fever pitch through a report that strongly indicated that Watson “has played his last snap for the team”.
Despite the lack of a formal trade request (and the prescience of the no-trade clause in his contract), Watson has been linked to several of his non-playoff brethren, including the Jets. The sleuths of Instagram took notice of one of Watson’s recent “likes”, one featuring potentially the first of many punny headlines from the New York Post. Richard Sherman, a noted fan of new Jets boss Robert Saleh, advised Watson to “head to New York” on Cris Collinsworth’s podcast. Video has surfaced of Watson purchasing a car his associates wanting it painted “jet green”.
don’t know if this is from today or years ago but this is deshaun watson buying a car in philly. the salesman says he wants deshaun to sign with philly. his agent says they want the car to turn “jet green”.
From a Jets standpoint, all the pieces appear to align in their favor. The light at the end of their two-win tunnel was the second overall pick in April’s draft, a pick the Texans desperately need after shipping their own first rounder (which became the pick right after New York’s) to Miami. That more than likely won’t be enough to satisfy the Texans (who likely won’t be appearing in Wid Card Saturday’s afternoon slot anytime soon), but the Jets have the picks to atone for it, including guaranteed first-rounders from Seattle via the Jamal Adams trade. Assets beyond picks could include contributors under contract that might become salary cap casualties anyway…talented names like Jamison Crowder and Henry Anderson that could potentially save the Jets a pick. Thier cap space is already pretty attractive as is; entering the 2021 offseason, the Jets have just over $65 million to spend, behind only Jacksonville ($73 million).
The Jets have been looking for a lasting franchise quarterback after since Joe Namath took his final green snaps in 1976. False prophets have come and gone, but a name like Watson, only starting to tap into his true potential and power, could give the Jets long-term assurance and stability at arguably the most important position in all of sports.
If all of this sounds too good to be true…especially when it comes to a franchise as star-crossed as the Jets…that’s because, frankly, it probably is. A union between Watson and the Jets wouldn’t be fair to either side, tantalizing as it may be.
For Watson, a New York collaboration wouldn’t be much different from his current situation in Houston…except it would be a lot colder. From a Jets’ standpoint, there would little separate a potential era of Watson from the Sam Darnold saga. The way the team is constructed now, there would be plenty of instances of Watson running for his life, and this would be after he led the league in passing yardage despite being brought down 49 times with the Texans (third-worst in football). Watson’s mobile talents would perhaps spare him some of the carnage, but likely nothing where he would be able to make a meaningful difference in the Jets’ offense, one that finished at or near the bottom of most major statistical categories.
To the Jets’ credit, namely general manager Joe Douglas’, they’re starting to making sensible, rational, if not conservative, decisions with their offensive roster. In his first draft last spring, Douglas bypassed the name-brand receiving talent to take tackle Mekhi Becton. Not only did Becton turn out to be one of the brightest emergences of the 2020 rookie class, but Douglas was also able to earn a big-play receiver in Denzel Mims in the second round. There’s also plenty of time between now and Week 1 of a hopefully normal 2021 season…heck, there’s plenty of time even before the draft…for Douglas, Saleh, and the Jets to stock up and become more attractive to a new franchise quarterback, whether it’s Watson, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields. There’s no guarantee they’ll even move on from Darnold, who has reportedly caught the eye of both Saleh and his reported new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Unfortunately for Douglas, however, his debut veteran acquisition class left much to be desired, riddled with names that were plagued by injuries (Bradley McDougald, Greg Van Roten), inconsistency (Connor McGovern, Pierre Desir), or both (Breshad Perriman). Adding Watson is the type of move a team makes when they’re the proverbial “one move away” from the Super Bowl. If the Adam Gase era proved anything, it’s that the Jets are many, many moves away from a mere playoff berth, much less the Big Game.
The Jets needed to use every asset, every piece of roster capital they have to end this cycle of rebuilding. Dedicating a majority of those resources, be it picks, be it cap space, to Watson and his contract (which includes a $40 million cap hit next year) would be reckless spending, using excess fund to plug one hole when there are many, many, many holes to be filled. Bringing Watson in would sell jerseys, but it wouldn’t necessarily lead to wins.
Modern NFL endeavors have provided countless examples of such irresponsible spending. The Jets’ MetLife Stadium co-tenants, for example, were on the verge of something at least entertaining at the end of the 2016-17 season. In the first year of their post-Tom Coughlin endeavors, the New York Giants won 11 games and showcased six All-Pro men on their roster. Their season ended in a listless 38-13 Wild Card playoff loss in Green Bay, but hope was on the horizon, manifested in several high-profile transactions. Big Blue welcomed in receiver Brandon Marshall to work alongside Odell Beckham Jr. They used their first-round pick on tight end Evan Engram, an Ole Miss alum to gear up fellow former Rebel Eli Manning for one last run to glory. Later in the draft, the Giants took Davis Webb in the third round, perhaps the most serious they had come to seeking an heir to the Manning throne. The team also re-upped with fan favorite pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul to the tune of a four-year contract with $40 million guaranteed.
But in their marquee spending, the Giants failed to account for some of more dour problems hidden on their roster, namely the offensive line. The Giants did little, if anything, to upgrade their line, letting reliable veterans like Andrew Whitworth fall by the wayside. Cursed with little to no blocking help, the Giants sputtered to a brutal 3-13 season and fell down a hole they have yet to emerge from. Beckham has since been traded, and there is little left from the promising 2016 campaign.
The story of the modern Giants and so many other “offseason champions” in the NFL serve as cautionary tales to active Super Bowl seekers. A house renovation could serve as a strong parable to what the Jets are going through at this moment. Bringing in Watson would be a high-profile purchase, immediately spending a windfall on, say, a luxury vehicle or swimming pool. However, doing so would ignore more grimy, subtle problems in the house that could bring the entire structure down…mold damage in the basement, perhaps. Even if the Jets admit that Darnold isn’t the answer, there are still situations to resolve, such as their porous blocking, uncertain rungame situation, and lack of offensive weapons and defensive depth. Filling every blank with Watson isn’t going to work, no matter how hard the Jets try. The Texans have tried doing that with Watson and J.J. Watt…chaos has enused.
It seems hard for Jets fans to believe, but that’s the cruelly funny thing about life in the NFL: there’s no situation, no matter how dire, where things can’t actively get worse. The Jets have been blessed with a plethora of offseason capital through multiple draft picks and excess cap space. To cash it all in on one big-ticket player would be reckless.
Another reason why Watson’s potential New York arrival sounds so promising is because not only has he made an impact on the field, but he continues to be a vital prescience off of it as well. Watson has made it clear he wants to use his voice for good as Americans seek an end to systemic racism and he has also come through for Houston medical staffers fighting the ongoing health crisis. Bringing in a high-character superstar would be the perfect way to open a new Jets era, one that could allow them to shatter the losing status quo that New York football has become far-too-accustomed to. Watson’s rumored eagerness to join a two-win team bearing what’s by far the longest playoff drought in the NFL (10 seasons) speaks volumes as well, signifying a welcome counter to the concept of “ring-chasing” that has spread throughout the major professional sports leagues.
But to ask Watson to come to New York and become a lone, instant fixer-upper…which is essentially what he would be if the Jets bestow all of their offseason funding unto him…when he’s on the precipice of entering his prime is a little too much to ask for. A more established contender, a Miami, an Indianapolis, would be better for a player of his talents. If the Jets truly want to make a change at quarterback, they would be far better off using their cap space to create a more attractive environment for a rookie quarterback, or even build around Darnold if Saleh and LaFleur are impressed enough to keep him around.
This is a new, exciting time to take an interest in the New York Jets…it’s so rare to say that. While there’s a chance that Douglas could make the Watson revolution work, it’s best, for the time being, to avoid temptation. It’s never good to use an “all for one” mentality…the assets, an “all for all” situation, would be better spent on many helpers, never mind just one, showstopping as he may be.
The New York Giants are expected to make moves this offseason. It remains to be seen what those moves will be, but the team is on the brink of winning and some new additions could push them into a playoff campaign next year. And one of the biggest players that might be available on the market this offseason is Texans QB Deshaun Watson.
Obviously, the Giants already have a quarterback in Daniel Jones. The Giants have come out and said a number of times that Jones is their QB and that they plan on keeping him around for years to come. But words can be fleeting, and the staff also reaffirmed that Eli Manning would be the starting quarterback for weeks, before benching him in favor of Jones. Could they do a similar thing and make a surprise change at the position despite supporting Jones publicly?
Lawrence Tynes proposes a trade
Super Bowl winning kicker Lawrence Tynes has an interesting take on the idea. He proposed a trade where the Giants would give up a lot, but could get their quarterback of the future.
Hypothetically: I would trade the below for Deshaun Watson if I was the @Giants
The Giants would have to give up Jones, plus starters Kevin Zeitler and Evan Engram. It’s a steep price to pay, but Engram has often left fans wanting for more performance wise and Zeitler was involved in trade rumors already earlier last season. In fact, Engram might be the largest one reason why the Giants aren’t in the playoffs right now after his crucial drop against the Eagles cost the team an extra win. Some would argue the Giants should move on from him now while he isn’t injured and his stock is still somewhat high.
Perhaps more concerning, the Giants would have to give up a first round pick for next year as well as two third round picks. Giving up a first round pick in addition to two players is a high price, but may be worth it in the long run if the Giants can advance to the point where they no longer need a high draft pick each year to further a rebuild.
What would the Giants get in return?
It’s looking increasingly like Deshaun Watson is going to move from the Texans, but what would the Giants get with him if they did make a deal?
From the looks of things, they would have an immediate step up at quarterback. Watson last season threw for 33 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, a huge increase over the poor ratio of touchdowns to turnovers that Daniel Jones had. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl, and while the Texans were far from a winning team last season, there’s other major reasons for that than just their quarterback play and offense.
After the Texans went 4-12, star defensive end J.J. Watt went as far as to apologize to Watson for how the defense wasted one of his seasons.
From 2014 to 2020, the Texans were under the leadership of Bill O’Brien – he became infamous to Texans fans for bad leadership and the move to trade Watson’s top receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals for David Johnson and a pair of draft picks. That’s been called one of the worst trades ever, and it contributed further to Watson not being able to win in Houston.
Even under those circumstances, and other poor management decisions from the Texans, Watson had a successful season individually and would be a step up from what the Giants have now. It’s easy to imagine him leading the Giants to success when not surrounded with a dysfunctional organization and placed on an improving roster that nearly made the playoffs this year.
Should the Giants do the deal?
The Giants will likely have to give up a lot if they want to acquire Watson, but at some point, the team has to turn the corner and start winning. There’s multiple ways to turn the corner. Some teams draft big time players and other teams acquire them in free agency or in trades. But there’s only so many chances to do so, and the Giants might not have another chance for a while to acquire a quarterback of this caliber.
It’s not that the Giants need to immediately move on from Daniel Jones – but Jones sitting around the middle of the league statistically for years isn’t going to help the team reach new heights in the long run. A player like Watson, however, could.
They would have to give up a lot, yes. But any team looking to turn the corner with a big trade does. The Giants are going to start losing players to contracts and free agency anyway as Dave Gettleman’s rebuild drags on for more years. They may as well give up some talent preemptively and pick up the kind of player that there’s rarely a chance to get on the open market.
The New York Giants are searching for their third head coach in four years. Coming off of a 4-12 season, New York felt it was time to make another change and fired head coach Pat Shurmur at season’s end. So far, the Giants have met with five candidates for their head coach position with two more scheduled interviews to go.
With the Dallas Cowboys’ recent hiring of Mike McCarthy, there is one clear top candidate for the Giants. Matt Rhule, the head coach of Baylor, is the best candidate available for the New York Giants. Rhule has an impressive college track record and was almost hired as an NFL head coach last offseason.
Ultimately, uncertainty surrounding Rhule’s coaching staff kept him from taking that job. Art Stapleton reports that Rhule planned on bringing former Giants assistant coach Sean Ryan in as his offensive coordinator. Assuming this is his plan again in 2020, Sean Ryan would be a great hire.
Sean Ryan’s Career History
Sean Ryan, the New York native and University of Albany alum, has had an excellent career in the NFL. Ryan has accomplished much throughout his coaching career that began in 1998. The two-time Super Bowl champion has overseen career-years out of numerous star quarterbacks and wide receivers in the NFL.
Sean Ryan’s first NFL coaching job was with- guess who- the New York Giants. In 2007, Ryan was hired as the offensive quality control coach and served under that role until being promoted to wide receivers coach in 2010. Ryan then moved up to quarterbacks coach in 2012, then went back to work as the Giants’ wide receiver coach in 2014 and served there through 2015 before moving on to a career in Houston.
In the 2019 offseason, Matt Rhule was in consideration for the head coaching job of the New York Jets. Sean Ryan was in line to be Rhule’s offensive coordinator with the Jets. Ultimately, the Jets and Rhule were not a good fit due to a disagreement in Rhule’s coaching staff. Matt Rhule described the situation as an “arranged marriage” because the Jets would not allow Rhule to select his own assistant coaches. Rhule wants full control over who is on his coaching staff in the NFL, and the Giants will be willing to give that to him.
Sean Ryan was then hired by the Detroit Lions to serve as their quarterbacks coach in 2019. Assuming Sean Ryan is still Matt Rhule’s choice of offensive coordinator, he will likely be one-and-done in Detroit as Matt Rhule is expected to make the jump to the NFL this offseason (hopefully with the New York Giants, but maybe with the Carolina Panthers).
Getting The Best Out Of His Players
The Giants and Their 2011 Three-Headed Monster
Possibly the most impressive tenure of Sean Ryan’s coaching career was with the New York Giants. While a member of Big Blue, Sean Ryan won two Super Bowls (XLII and XLVI) and had a part in coaching some of the best offenses in franchise history. From 2008 to 2012, the Giants’ offense was ranked inside the top ten every year.
Sean Ryan is credited with the development of the Giants’ best receiving corps in recent memory. The group featured Salsa-King Victor Cruz, along with Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks, all players that should stick out to Giants fans. Reminder, Victor Cruz was an undrafted free agent who made a tremendous impact as soon as he stepped foot on the field. Plus, it is hard not to notice the failing success-level that Manningham and Nicks fell to after parting ways with Ryan and the Giants.
In 2011, the unit helped the Giants set a franchise record with 4,734 net passing yards. Victor Cruz was the central standout, totaling 1,536 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns on 18.7 yards per reception. This was also Cruz’s de facto rookie season since he missed all of 2010 with a knee injury.
Giants fans will never forget Mario Manningham’s reception down the left sideline in Super Bowl XLVI. Without that catch, the Giants do not have four world championships. But they also would not have gotten there if not for Hakeem Nicks’s 444 post-season receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.
The Rise of Odell Beckham Jr.
Sean Ryan was promoted to be the quarterbacks coach of the New York Giants in 2012. Eli Manning made the Pro Bowl that year with 26 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions, and 3,948 passing yards. Unfortunately, Manning’s worst season of his career came in 2013 when he led the NFL with 27. Mixed results in these two years.
Ryan was moved back to wide receivers coach in 2014. This was a crucial move as the Giants had spent the 12th overall pick on a wide receiver that year: Odell Beckham Jr. Ryan gets some credit for the rapid development of Odell during his rookie season. Beckham missed the first four games of the season, but then exploded onto the scene and racked up an incredible 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in only 12 games.
Odell Beckham Jr. was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015 for another outstanding season, increasing his receiving yards total to 1,450. Beckham shattered numerous records during his first two seasons with the New York Giants and is another shining example of Sean Ryan’s ability to develop and get the most out of young, talented playmakers on offense.
Working With DeAndre Hopkins:
Sean Ryan left the New York Giants in 2016. Ryan left behind the versatile Odell Beckham and began working with the reliable DeAndre Hopkins. Sean Ryan became the Houston Texans’ wide receivers coach in 2016 and, admittedly, this was not one of Hopkins’s better seasons in the NFL.
However, Hopkins’s somewhat disappointing 2016 campaign is not the fault of himself or Sean Ryan. The Texans’ offense featured Brock Osweiler at quarterback who managed to throw only 2,957 yards and 15 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. Regardless, Ryan did not hold that coaching position very long. He was promoted the following season.
Developing One Of The League’s Best Young Quarterbacks: Deshaun Watson
In 2017, Sean Ryan was promoted to quarterbacks coach of the Houston Texans. This was a critical promotion since the Texans had spent a first-round pick on quarterback Deshaun Watson that year. Ryan and Watson developed a strong relationship that led to a spectacular on-field product. Houston head coach Bill O’Brien said to the Houston Chronicle that Ryan did a “good job” with Watson in terms of “prepping him with the game plan.”
Deshaun Watson was incredible during his two seasons under Sean Ryan. In his cut-short rookie season, Watson threw for 1,699 yards, 19 touchdowns, and an 83.6 QBR in 6 starts before going down with a gruesome knee injury. Watson got back to full-health for 2018 and built on his 2017 season. In 2018, Deshaun threw for a career-high 4,165, 26 touchdowns, and only 9 interceptions en route to an 11-5 record. The rapid development of Deshaun Watson in his first two seasons is something for Giants fans to take note of. Sean Ryan could be the best coordinator available for Daniel Jones.
Matthew Stafford’s Career Resurgence
Matthew Stafford was on track for a career-year under Sean Ryan before his season-ending back injury. 2019 saw Matt Stafford achieve career-bests in QBR at 73.1, 6.5 TD% per pass attempt, 8.6 yards per pass, 13.4yards gained per completion, and a 106 QB Rating (PFR). Stafford was also passing for an average of 312.4 yards per game (second-best mark of his career) en route to 19 touchdown passes and 2499 passing yards in 8 games.
Sean Ryan’s Role As An Offensive Coordinator
The job title of offensive coordinator would be a massive promotion for Sean Ryan. Ryan has been a positions coach throughout his entire career and has never been tasked with coaching the whole offense. Typically, offensive coordinators are designated play-callers in NFL offenses. This, too, would be uncharted territory for Sean Ryan.
Though Sean Ryan has no prior experience as an offensive play-caller, one of his former head coaches is confident that Ryan will find success:
“I think Sean could probably call the plays right now, but I think it’s important for me to take a little bit more ownership of this offense,” O’Brien said. “I think Sean is destined to be a coordinator in this league.
“He’s a very bright guy, is quick on his feet and works his butt off. Players respect him. So, yeah, I can see him doing that (calling plays) down the road.” – Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien via Chron.com in 2017
Regardless of his unknown play-calling abilities, Sean Ryan’s ability to develop talent at crucial offensive positions should be more than enough to excite Giants fans. His work with quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford are telling of what Ryan is capable of, not to mention the former Giants assistant coach oversaw the development of some of the best receivers in franchise history. A Sean Ryan reunion could be precisely what the Giants’ offense needs to help their young talent take the next step.