Free agency just provided more proof that Russell Wilson won’t get traded but Deshaun Watson just might.
The Bears added Andy Dalton on a one-year, $10 million contract as a consolation prize after “a very aggressive pursuit” of Wilson ended with the Seahawks saying they are not dealing their quarterback, according to ESPN.
The Texans almost simultaneously agreed to terms on an incentive-laden one-year, $12 million contract with Tyrod Taylor, which blows a hole in new coach David Culley’s recent statement that “there is no contingency plan” at quarterback for if Watson is traded.
Whereas Watson has requested a trade and reportedly is adamant about not playing again for the Texans, Wilson took a softer approach. Wilson vented his unhappiness with the Seahawks offensive line, and his agent gave ESPN a list of four teams — including the Bears — that Wilson would waive his no-trade clause to play for if the Seahawks decided to move on.
Dalton and Taylor were two of the three most experienced starting quarterbacks left on the market, after Ryan Fitzpatrick landed with Washington and Jameis Winston returned to the Saints late Monday night. Fitzpatrick (one-year, $10 million) is expected to be the starter for his ninth NFL team, while Winston will compete with Taysom Hill to replace the retired Drew Brees.
The three-time Pro Bowler Dalton played well as the Cowboys’ backup last season after losing his longtime job with the Bengals. He could compete against Nick Foles. The Bears didn’t have the trade assets to entice the Seahawks because they hold the No. 20 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and are not stocked with additional future picks like the Jets, Jaguars and Dolphins.
Taylor has made just four of his 47 starts since he left the Bills in 2018. If the Texans reverse their stance and cave to trading Watson, Taylor could be a temporary starter or an ideal mentor to a rookie quarterback, as he just was for Justin Herbert of the Chargers.
Jacoby Brissett also reportedly agreed to a one-year, $7.5 million contract to replace Fitzpatrick as the Dolphins’ veteran caddy to Tua Tagovailoa. All those free-agent deals — as well as the long-ago trades involving quarterbacks Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz — can become official at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Displaced starters Mitchell Trubisky (Bears) and Alex Smith (Washington) remain the best free-agent quarterbacks available as the carousel continues to spin.