Kiszla vs. O’Halloran: Should Broncos jump into trade negotiations for quarterback Deshaun Watson?

Kiz: While Broncos coach Vic Fangio stands firmly behind his man, is anybody truly in love with the idea of Teddy Bridgewater as this team’s quarterback beyond this season? I think the answer is no. Which brings me to a difficult question: With the NFL trade deadline looming Nov. 2, should take another hard look at making an offer for troubled Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson?

O’Halloran: I can’t say with any certainty what the Broncos’ final record will be (had them 7-10 entering the season), but I can darn near guarantee Bridgewater won’t be the Week 1 2022 quarterback. I always felt this was a one-year arrangement. General manager George Paton said the Broncos keep an eye on everything and that should include Watson … to a point.

Kiz: The allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior against Watson are troubling and remain unresolved. Nevertheless, it seems as if Miami’s interest in making a deal for Watson is still keen. Let’s set aside the big ethical questions for a moment. What do you think is fair trade value for Watson as this point in time, when it seems highly unlikely he would see the field anytime before the 2022 season, if then?

O’Halloran: The Dolphins have lost six consecutive games and have missed on Tua Tagovailoa. The Panthers have lost four straight and are starting Sam Darnold. The key thing about those two teams is ownership. They both have one. The Broncos don’t. If they had an owner, Paton could approach them with every single detail. I doubt president/CEO Joe Ellis wants to saddle the new owner with this situation from a financial and public relations standpoint. As for the compensation, ESPN said last month the Texans wanted a total of six players/draft picks. Let’s go with three players, two first-round picks and one second-rounder. But there would need to be provisions if Watson is suspended. Without that, I walk away from the bargaining table.

Kiz: I believe in innocent until proven guilty. I was Watson’s biggest fan when he entered the NFL from Clemson. I think he has every bit as much football talent as Patrick Mahomes. His legal baggage, however, is too much for me to bear. I could not endorse the Broncos trading for Watson at this time. But let me ask you one more tough question: With Denver fans desperate for a quarterback, how do you think the public would react to Watson joining the Broncos?

O’Halloran: Imagine an AFC West with Watson (Broncos), Mahomes (Kansas City), Justin Herbert (Chargers) and Derek Carr (Las Vegas). That would be fun and it would make the Broncos an instant contender in the division and conference if Watson is eligible, healthy and productive. The public reaction would be fascinating. My in-box still gets questions about the Broncos/Watson. But until there is clarity about his legal status, I would also back away from pursuing Watson.

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