Reason No. 4: Deshaun Watson helped derail Jimmy Garoppolo trade market
Had the Niners acted more swiftly (more on that later) and offered to trade Jimmy Garoppolo before a grand jury elected not to pursue a criminal case with Deshaun Watson for off-field sexual misconduct, things may have been vastly different.
The Watson trade speculation and activity threw a massive wrench into San Francisco’s plans no matter what, though, and it’s not hard to understand why teams would much rather prefer Watson over Garoppolo, at least in terms of on-field abilities.
Cleveland, which ultimately won the bid, soured its relationship with Baker Mayfield, thereby putting another big name into the pool of quarterbacks who could be available. While nowhere near as dramatic, in terms of physically announcing the discontent like Mayfield did, the Falcons doing the same attempt certainly make Matt Ryan expendable.
Other teams, meanwhile, made their contingency plans in case they didn’t land Watson.
If Houston had retained Watson, for whatever the reasons and/or just delayed trade talks, the trickle-down effect of the Browns, Falcons, Saints and Carolina Panthers would have been vastly different.
And Garoppolo’s market would have been much, much better.