Could Lions kick off new era with Deshaun Watson trade?

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Lions are heading in an exciting new direction. The organization hired a new general manager last week in Brad Holmes. And it appears Detroit is preparing to hire a new head coach, with all signs pointing to Dan Campbell.

But if the Lions really want to kick off a new era in Detroit, then it could force a change under center. One of the biggest question marks heading into this offseason surrounds the future of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford in the Motor City.

While Stafford is currently under contract in Detroit through 2022, it’s unknown if the new regime in Motown will choose to retain his services for next season or if they prefer to find another quarterback to lead their rebuild.

And there appears to be an opportunity for Detroit to make that switch with a possible blockbuster trade. That’s if the speculation surrounding Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson is true. According to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter, Watson could be looking for a new home to play for in 2021.

The cost to acquire someone like Watson could be very steep. NFL Network Analyst Daniel Jeremiah projects that price tag to possibly be as high as three first-round draft picks. The Lions could have an edge if they offer Stafford in exchange on top of draft compensation.

But is Watson worth the cost? A first-round selection out of Clemson in 2017, the 25-year old is considered to be one of the best, young quarterbacks in the NFL.

Already a three-time Pro Bowler (two more than Stafford), Watson led the league with 4,823 passing yards in 2020. He also passed for 33 touchdowns and threw only seven interceptions. He also rushed for 444 yards and three more scores.

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If the new regime in the Motor City is able to pull off a trade that lands the Detroit Lions one of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL, the excitement level for the new look Pride will be at an all-time high. And the exit of Matthew Stafford would certainly turn the page for both the player and the organization with both heading into an exciting future.