Should the Bucs check out Watson’s price?

by Gary Shelton on March 12, 2022

in general

How much would Licht pay for Watson?

Saturday, 4 a.m.

Do you feel lucky yet? Do you think Deshaun Watson is worth his price yet?

It comes down to that, doesn't it? Watson had a great day Friday, going 9-0 against his accusers. Think what you may of him -- and there are civil suits ahead -- but he wont be indicted, which is a strong first step for Watson.

So should the Bucs pursue him? Should they trade in a larger-than-you'd-expect piece of their future for him?

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Or are you more comfortable with the idea of Blaine Gabbert?

Watson won't face criminal charges, but let's be honest. There are still character issues. Trading for him now is inviting bad publicity. In a day of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, it's easy to believe a lot of accusers over one quarterback.

On the other hand, Watson is a better quarterback than Jameis Winston, and he's better than Kirk Cousins, and he's better than Jimmy Garappolo.

In the evaluation of a player -- any player -- teams outweigh the positives and the negatives. That's true if a quarterback can't make the deep throw, and it's true if he's too short, and it's true if has a repuatation for showing up late for meetings. And with most players, there is an issue to address before a team decides if he's a good bet or a bad one.

The Bucs bet on Tom Brady against his age, and they were right. They bet on Winston against his turnover problem,and they were wrong. They bet on Antonio Bryant and his self-desctructive habits, and they were wrong.

So how do they wager with Watson, who would cost a lot of cash, and who would cost a lot of high draft picks. Keep in mind that Watson missed all of last year and that he's reluctant to throw the ball away.

Still, if I ran the Bucs, I'd kick the tires. I'd talk to people who know him. I'd study tapes. I'd ask him to work out to prove he's in shape. I'd look at the $35 million he's supposed to make next year and how that affects the salary cap.

And then I'd swallow hard, and I'd make a telephone call.

The big hurdle, of course, is what the Texans want in return for him. Probably, there fallback position is similar to what Seattle got for Russell Wilson -- two ones, two twos, a fifth and three players for Wilson and a fifth-rounder.

But her's the problem. Watson isn't Russell Wilson, and the Texans have to get rid of him.

So lower the price tag somewhat. Still, there are as many as 10 franchises who will look into Watson. Half of them may drop out, but teams like Carolina and Seattle have a lot more draft capital than the Bucs can give.

What can the Bucs give? How about this year's No . 1, next year's No. 1 and a second-rounder to be negotiated? That still might not get it done. But it should be close enough for a conversation..

Of course, all of this is predicated on the Bucs deciding that Watson's ability is greater than his price tag. Right now, we're all undecided about that.

But I'd at least check the cost.

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