Naturally, the sports world is still debating that draft misstep.
On Friday, though, Watson himself weighed in — and claimed that the Bears never met with him ahead of the draft that year.
The bears NEVER ONCE talked to me.. https://t.co/nMX7JKW99P— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) May 9, 2020
Watson hopped into an argument-in-progress on Friday afternoon, quote-tweeting Fox Sports’ Doug Gottlieb with that info. Gottlieb and Washington Post contributor John Feinstein were going at it based on a tweet that Feinstein sent last week after a conversation he had with Washington Redskins executive Doug Williams.
Williams, Feinstein tweeted, thinks that Watson would have been drafted ahead of Trubisky if he were white.
Bears declining 5th yr. option on Mitchell Trubisky, QB they chose AHEAD of Patrick Mahomes AND DeShaun Watson. I asked Doug Williams where Mahomes and Watson would have gone if they'd been white: "Ahead of Trubisky," he said. "Ahead of No. 2" I said. "Absolutely," he answered.— John Feinstein (@JFeinsteinBooks) May 3, 2020
Gottlieb didn’t buy that argument. The Bears, he said, simply picked the wrong quarterback.
Race wasn’t a factor John. Chicago had to replace Cutler, who the locker room hated. Mahomes had highest ceiling, but had some bad personal habits- but they liked him a lot- Watson tore his knee in college, threw a lot of picks his last year, was more effective in playoff https://t.co/eAoaCRNiMZ— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) May 8, 2020
The debate doesn’t matter much now, as it is three years after the fact.
And, Watson may have talked to the Bears after all. He told Rich Eisen before the draft in 2017 that Chicago was one of several teams he spoke with over the phone.
Regardless, Watson’s input on Friday confirms what was already widely known.
The Bears never really looked at him as an option to be their next franchise quarterback in 2017. They did attend his pro day at Clemson, but only held dinners and private workouts with Mahomes and Trubisky, according to the Chicago Tribune. Bears general manager Ryan Pace found his man in Trubisky and committed to it. Mahomes then went No. 10 overall to the Chiefs in the draft, and Watson to the Texans at No. 12.
Whichever side you land on in Gottlieb and Feinstein’s argument, one thing is crystal clear: Both Watson and Mahomes have had tremendously better careers than Trubisky heading into their fourth season in the league.
It’s not even close.
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