Of all the teams that have been connected to Deshaun Watson through now months of trade rumors, the New England Patriots haven’t really been a major factor. Now, we’re starting to see some rumors bubble up, after a pretty aggressive start to the free agency period by Bill Belichick.
The first of those recent moves was the somewhat surprising decision to bring back Cam Newton. The former MVP, coming off of a poor season with New England, could get up to $14 million, but he’s only guaranteed just over $5.1 million.
From the start, it was reported that the deal doesn’t preclude New England from landing another quarterback, whether through the NFL Draft or another transaction. FS1’s Colin Cowherd is starting to piece things together, and given some recent statements by Houston Texans insider John McClain and Patriots beat writer Jeff Howe, he’s starting to smell some smoke around Watson and the Pats
“This feels like something. Two very well connected people, one saying Deshaun Watson is going to get moved. One saying the Cam contract is incentive based, New England believes it has to get better at quarterback… You’re starting to hear things from people that make sense.”
Deshaun Watson to the Patriots? @ColinCowherd doesn't rule it out:
"This feels like something… Belichick struggled with Cam. He went & got him. Belichick struggled with Deshaun Watson." pic.twitter.com/xZ5Atg2zHx
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) March 18, 2021
Cowherd brings up a number of other connections. Nick Caserio, the Texans‘ new general manager, comes over from the New England Patriots, getting his shot to lead a team in large part because of Bill Belichick.
McClain has basically said that the Texans are giving off the signals that a Watson deal is no longer off the table. The Newton deal does not preclude a big splash for the Pats at quarterback, and even after some of the recent signings, New England could have the cap space to make a big move for the high-priced 25-year old.
Cowherd also mentions that Belichick brought in Newton after struggling to coach against him with the Panthers, before citing Watson’s impressive numbers against New England:
2-2 record (2-0 in 2019-20), 263.8 yards per game, eight touchdowns, three interceptions (none in last two games), 116 rushing yards and a score. Even in the two losses, which came in Watson’s first two seasons, Houston fell by single scores. Watson’s been as good against the Patriots as any quarterback can reasonably expect, and Cowherd believes that Bill Belichick loves to take on players who succeed against him on the field.