On Football Self Destructing Texans

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field before a Jan. 3 game against the Titans in Houston.

Deshaun Watson.

Got your attention.

Russell Wilson, Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson.

Gotcha again.

The Broncos’ starter could have been any of those five quarterbacks. They’d give almost anything — like three first-round draft picks and two young starters — to have one of them now.

As fighter Terry Malloy lamented in the film “On The Waterfront,’’ “I could have had class. I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody.’’

They should have drafted Wilson, Watson, Allen (Josh, not Brandon), Jackson or Prescott. But they drafted Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly and Drew Lock.

The Broncos became a tomato can and are trying to ketchup.

But, even if the franchise is willing to sacrifice its future, I don’t believe the Broncos will get anybody and will remain a nobody.

Meanwhile, the Broncos just released two of their recent high-profile acquisitions (A.J. Bouye and, on Thursday, Jurrell Casey).

No wonder the Broncos, under new general manager George Paton, will fall back in 2021 before stepping up. That’s not my opinion, but the belief of those within the process.

The Broncos are staring at a sixth season without a post season.

The majority of everybody inside the borders of Colorado wants the Broncos to get Watson, whose first name is a synonym of “disgruntled,” or the other “W’’ — Wilson — who also has become discontented. Even people who should know better think the Broncos will acquire one of the two.

But they won’t.

Wilson’s camp followers said Thursday that the 32-year-old quarterback doesn’t want to be traded. However, it is claimed he only would be acceptable to the Saints, the Cowboys, the Raiders or the Bears.

Visualize an AFC West with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Wilson and Lock.

Watson has spoken with new Texans coach David Culley — who had said he took the job because he was assured Watson would stay as the quarterback — but Deshaun still seeks to be somewhere else.

Drooling Broncos fanatics should be aware that if the Texans deal Watson, the team takes a $21.1 million salary cap hit, and if Wilson is traded, the Seahawks will be stuck for $39 million in dead cap charges.

All could have been avoided if John Elway and his minions hadn’t made such spit-poor quarterback choices.

In 2012 the Broncos traded out of the first round and selected Derek Wolfe at 36th, Brock Osweiler (the former roommate of Elway’s son) at 57th and Ronnie Hillman at 67th. Wilson went to Seattle at 75. The Broncos should have known Wilson wasn’t on a fast track as a baseball player — in the Rockies’ farm system.

In 2016 the Broncos traded up in the first round and drafted Lynch. They had brought Prescott to Denver, but weren’t convinced. The Broncos drafted Adam Gotsis in the second round. The Cowboys reluctantly picked Prescott (whom I promoted, especially after meeting Lynch during a pre-Super Bowl event) at No. 135.

In 2018, with the fifth pick overall, the Broncos could have chosen Josh Allen or Jackson. Both were available. Allen was picked at No. 7 by the Bills, and Jackson was still around when the Ravens selected at 32. I had recommended them, especially Allen, for the Broncos prior to the draft. The Broncos didn’t opt for any quarterback in the draft after their 2017 grab of Kelley, coach Vance Joseph’s favorite QB in the entire draft, with the final pick of the entire draft.

In 2019 the Broncos drafted Lock in the second round (42).

Lamar and Josh are untouchables at this point in their careers.

Prescott, Watson and Wilson are in other-worldly NFL situations. If the Cowboys don’t negotiate a new contract with Prescott, who was injured in the fifth game last season and didn’t play again, they probably will have to franchise-tag him for the second time at $37.7 million.

Watson is due $168 million over the next five seasons, and Wilson signed a $140 million, four-season extension in April of 2019.

Lock will receive $1.13 million this season.

He will be back, backed and challenged by a veteran free agent. My choices are Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Will Lock be a contender and somebody this year and get your attention?

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