Headlined by Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, the AFC West is home to a strong group of young signal-callers including Justin Herbert and Derek Carr. The weakest link of the group, Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos, have been linked to a number of potential upgrades early on in an offseason expected to see a higher volume of quarterback movement than normal.
Among those options has been the highly coveted Deshaun Watson, who remains in a stalemate with a disoriented Houston Texans front office.
While speculation on whether the three-time Pro Bowler is truly available for trade has been inconsistent in recent months, a new report this week has offered some clarity on the situation as it pertains to the Broncos’ chances of landing Watson — and how it could impact the Chiefs.
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Texans Beat Writer: ‘Broncos Ain’t Getting Watson’
During an appearance with Big Al & JoJo on KOA Radio in Denver on Thursday, Houston Chronicle beat writer John McClain, who has covered the NFL for over four decades, made it very clear that Broncos fans shouldn’t be holding their breath.
“Well, first of all, I’ll guarantee you the Broncos ain’t getting Deshaun Watson,” McClain said. “If they [the Texans] are going to trade him … trade talks would have to start with the [New York] Jets because the Jets are the only team that can guarantee them the second-best quarterback prospect in the draft plus a whole lot more.”
“I’ll guarantee you the Denver Broncos will not get Deshaun Watson from Texans,” John McClain of Houston Chronicle, one of nation’s most respected NFL reporters and my friend forever, told KOA radio.
— Woody Paige (@woodypaige) February 19, 2021
Woody Paige, longtime Denver Post columnist currently with the Denver Gazette, reposted McClain’s claim on Twitter on Friday. The gesture makes sense considering Paige tweeted in late January that an NFL source had confirmed to him that Watson had “zero interest in Denver.”
What I was told days ago by a trusted NFL source was Watson had zero interest in Denver and Stafford wanted warm weather. Someone should tell him Denver has 300 days of sunshine. Don’t mention the other 65.
— Woody Paige (@woodypaige) January 29, 2021
Chiefs Likely Unaffected By Any Other Broncos QB Trade
Multiple insiders, including NFL Network’s James Palmer, have suggested that the Broncos still intend to make a run at Watson should Houston actually grant his trade request. However, this speculation is all moot at this point, as the Texans have repeatedly told inquiring teams that their superstar quarterback is not available, per KOA NFL insider Benjamin Allbright.
Deshaun Watson hasn’t even been made available for trade. The Texans have told callers they aren’t trading him.
Maybe they change their mind. Til then the rest is moot. https://t.co/zTjwEzGsh2
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) February 12, 2021
As such, the Chiefs should remain the odds-on favorite to repeat as AFC West champions for the sixth consecutive season in 2021. Boasting one of the NFL’s youngest offenses, Drew Lock and the Broncos took two steps back last season, dropping from 7-9 to 5-11. If last season’s results are any indication, Denver still needs to climb over the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders as serious threats to Kansas City.
With Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz already dealt to new clubs in recent weeks, the talent pool has already begun to shrink for teams in search of an upgrade outside of April’s NFL Draft.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!