First Take: Bears best fit for Deshaun Watson trade

Alex Shapiro
·3 min read

Kellerman: Why Bears best fit for Deshaun Watson originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Ever since reports emerged that Deshaun Watson was unhappy in Houston and wanted a trade, pundits and fans alike have had a field day speculating where he may end up. Well Bears fans have one national voice on their side. On Wednesday, First Take uploaded a video to YouTube where Max Kellerman suggested Chicago would be the best fit for the star quarterback.

“It is very clear to me what ought to happen,” Kellerman said on First Take. “Deshaun Watson should want this team— and the team should do whatever it takes to get him— and that’s be traded to the Chicago Bears. That’s the team that Deshaun Watson should want to go and that's the team that should want Deshaun Watson the most.”

Kellerman acknowledged there are a few drawbacks to playing in Chicago, but ultimately the overwhelming positives outweigh those few cons.

“I know it ain’t ‘no taxes,’ and it’s cold weather, I get all that,” Kellerman said. “Chicago is a football obsessed city… The ‘85 Bears are probably the greatest team ever, and it’s their only Super Bowl championship. The Bears are a franchise who’ve never really had a great quarterback in the Super Bowl era. You’re talking about Sid Luckman in the ‘50s? Are people crazy? In the Super Bowl era, who’s been their best quarterback? McMahon? Are people serious? Rex Grossman? Jay Cutler? When Jay Cutler is one of your three best quarterbacks of the Super Bowl era— Jim Harbaugh, better known for coaching?— you have a real problem.

“From Deshaun Watson’s point of view, he has a chance to become an icon, unlike he would be anywhere else. If he delivered a single Super Bowl to the Chicago Bears, he would occupy a space in the cultural landscape, the American sports imagination, that very few occupy. Because of how great he is, because of the storied franchise he’d be playing for, and because he delivered them finally, from a drought since 1985.”

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While that may seem rosy in an ideal world, Kellerman argues Super Bowl dreams wouldn’t be that far off for the Bears if they managed to swing a deal for Watson.

“When you look at that defense, even the receivers they have, not deep but they have what you need. When you look at the Bears, if you pick up Deshaun Watson and add an offensive lineman or two, just like that you are a perennial Super Bowl threat. And you have your first great quarterback of the Super Bowl era, in a football crazy town.”

The Bears defense has regressed over the past two years, but there’s reason to believe they can regain their dominant form from 2018. The team announced Khalil Mack had been playing through an injury this year, so an offseason to recover should help him. Eddie Goldman will be back after opting out in 2020 due to COVID-19, so that should help the team defend the run. The one wild card is Chuck Pagano’s retirement as we don’t know what a future defensive coordinator might bring to the table.

As for the Bears’ receiving core, burner Darnell Mooney is the perfect wide out for Watson who’s thrived feeding deep ball threats like DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. If the team opts to franchise tag Allen Robinson, an elite quarterback like Watson could finally unlock Robinson’s full potential.

But Kellerman thinks trading for Watson goes beyond improving their Super Bowl aspirations.

“It’s even bigger than that because the Bears botched the Deshaun Watson draft. They took Trubisky. They moved up to take him, and they have a chance to make that right. It makes all the sense in the world.

“Deshaun Watson should want it, and so should the Bears, and that’s where he should go. They should try to make that happen.”