SNIDER: Watson trade makes Washington a Super Bowl contender


The Washington Football Team isn't a quarterback away from reaching the Super Bowl. But then, Deshaun Watson might change that thinking.

The disgruntled Houston Texans passer is reportedly seeking a trade following a dispute over the team's front office changes. Certainly, there will be numerous suitors.

The price would be a king's ransom, but three first-rounders is much more reasonable for a proven young passer than rights to draft a college quarterback. And if that's what it takes, Washington should consider trading for Watson.

OK, you're going right to the Robert Griffin III scenario, when Washington traded two future firsts and a second to take the quarterback in 2012. But, it was injuries and not talent that caused Griffin to fail. That and stubbornness by Griffin and coach Mike Shanahan to find a better post-injury way to play the passer. Shanahan ended his career on that dispute and Griffin has seldom played since.

So toss Griffin as your example not to do this. It was a strange series of events rather than a busted pick. That said, it does offer one caveat against investing heavily in one player – injuries. The risk is always high as Griffin showed that one play can effectively end or diminish a career.

So that's part of the gamble in trading big for Watson. But the upside is he's one of the great young playmakers. Watson threw 33 touchdowns on a 4-12 team. Holy, Sonny Jurgensen.

Watson's mobility and big arm make him hard to cover. Throw in another receiver along with a solid defense and Washington might be a serious Super Bowl contender next season. And, this isn't a one-off investment. Watson will turn just 26 years old in September and could anchor the team for the next 10 years.

It's worth the risk.

Right now, Washington is looking at young passers Kyle Allen and playoff shocker Taylor Heinicke, along with possibly Alex Smith for next year. None will make the band play louder. Allen is just a guy. Heinicke might be something special, but it's far too early to tell. Meanwhile, opponents will spend the offseason watching his college and limited pro film. Smith is a stop-gap whose physical limits make him a better relief man.

Of course, Washington could draft a passer in April, but at No. 19 would be smarter to wait until the second or third rounds to diminish risk. Instead, take a receiver, with some mock drafts suggesting Alabama receiver Devonta Smith falling to Washington. That would be perfect.

Certainly, Washington could use that first-rounder on a linebacker, tight end, cornerback or left tackle, too. There's no shortage of upgrades needed to become a serious contender, but it all starts at quarterback.

It's a hefty price, but bringing a Super Bowl makes it worthwhile. If Watson is truly available, Washington needs to bid.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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