By Lenn Robbins
Let us try to put ourselves in what arguably was the most uncomfortable GM seat in the NFL this season. Joe Douglas must have felt as if he had been crumpled into an old one-piece elementary school chair/desk.
As Douglas was charged with trying keep Gang Green from going completely gangrene, he had to answer to bosses who don’t like public drama and dysfunction. Douglas was forced to squirm in his iron chair.
Star safety Jamal Adams began howling like a hungry baby in a soiled diaper before the first snap of the season. Douglas FedEx’d Adams to Seattle, receiving an impressive package in return. But when you jettison the best and most vocal player it’s as if that tiny chair has been moved alongside the teacher’s desk – shame on you!
When it became clear that Le’Veon Bell was getting more action on Twitter than on the field, Douglas – finding no takers for a $6 million running back – cut him. That chair must have felt like a glue trap.
The losses mounted. The outcry for Douglas to fire Adam Gase began to shatter Plexiglas. By the time Week 15 was to commence, Douglas might have found his torture chamber of a chair familiar if not comfortable. The winless Jets were closing in on the No.1 pick in the draft. Trevor Lawrence was being fitted for a green and white jersey – until his 0-14 team shockingly beat the playoff-bound Rams.
Douglas, now possibly under the care of a chiropractor and therapist, turned his attention to a bevy of talented, albeit uncertain group of quarterbacks – Wilson, Fields, Trask, Lance. After firing Gase, what’s a G.M. to do?
How about this: TRADE FOR DESHAUN WATSON!
What seemed like an utterly insane notion just a week ago is now a possibility. A remote one? Sure. But if Watson is as completely disillusioned with the Texans as some reports suggest, Douglas has that sliver of an opportunity that comes along once in a generation – like that Clemson quarterback he will miss out on in April.
Watson, the last great Clemson quarterback before Lawrence, reportedly is displeased with the Texans’ hiring of GM Nick Caserio without his input. Despite losing Deandre Hopkins, who was traded away in April, without the QB’s input. Watson led the NFL in passing. He has seen Houston been reduced from an AFC South power to a rudderless franchise without a first-round pick until 2022.
Here come the Jets! They have multiple first-round picks in 2021 and 2022. They have Jacob Javits convention center-like cap space. They are one of the few teams that could meet the Texans asking price if comes to that. And Watson’s contract – $160 million over four years – wouldn’t break the Jets who are coming into a positive cap situation.
Houston chairman and CEO Cal McNair has been trying to reach Watson, who reportedly is not taking calls while celebrating his one-year anniversary with girlfriend Jilly Anais. This sounds like smart business and personal business to me. Keep the owner hanging; more importantly, keep the girlfriend happy.
McNair surely will have his moment with this star quarterback and try to save the franchise centerpiece. If he doesn’t, the Texans will be looking for multiple first-round picks and more in this year’s draft and next year’s draft. The Jets have that. They also have more holes than draft choices.
Without question, this would be the most critical decision Douglas will make as long as he is a GM – anywhere. Does he trrade for one of the top five players at the most important position in football or does he continue the steady rebuild he’s just begun?
And you thought Douglas’s chair was uncomfortable? How about now?