There’s a flurry of news surrounding former Falcons ball boy & Georgia native Deshaun Watson, so naturally, some Falcons fans are eager to bring him to Atlanta.
Deshaun Watson may ask for a trade this offseason, per @ProFootballTalk
Which team is the best fit? pic.twitter.com/5c8iNeZEvb
— PFF (@PFF) January 7, 2021
Watson advocated for Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy—Pat Mahomes put in a strong word for EB with Watson—and the Texans didn’t even put in for an interview with Bieniemy.
Easy to see where he’d feel like they were just placating him by telling him he’d be involved. https://t.co/F3cTcyJkFU
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 8, 2021
Unfortunately, Bill O’Brien isn’t running the show anymore, or Atlanta could probably snag Watson for a few future third-rounders. A team like Indianapolis would be much better suited to trade for Watson with their gobs of cap space and young assets. Atlanta would have to part with a lot of picks and probably a good young player like Calvin Ridley. Watson did just lead the league in passing and is only 25. Putting ALL of that aside, could Atlanta even afford Deshaun Watson?
Watson’s 2021 Cap Hit is palatable. His big extension of $40.4 million doesn’t kick in until 2022. Atlanta would be in a much better spot by then financially (with a salary cap increase probable by that point), but what about 2021? To quote the original article from ProFootballTalk:
We can already hear the reaction. “He just signed a new contract, the cap charge would be crippling!“
Taking a look at the contract; trading him would result in a cap charge of $21.6 million. The Herschel-sized haul of draft picks that a Deshaun Watson trade would generate would more than justify it.
I listed some players who could potentially be cut this offseason. Making all of these moves, the Falcons could probably afford Watson by a fraction while putting them in a huge mess for 2022, with players like Calvin Ridley and Foyesade Oluokun needing extensions. So yes, the Falcons can afford Deshaun Watson in 2021. Factors playing into the situation such as asking price, other competitors having more cap space along with better assets, and Matt Ryan still under contract for a few more years likely mean the peach state kid isn’t coming home.
But hey, it’s the offseason, don’t let me stop you from dreaming.