Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace has potentially a chance to right a wrong here in 2021 and finally get the quarterback position solved. He could look at a prospect that he had the chance to take a shot on back in 2017 as Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is unhappy with the franchise and could be on the move this offseason.
By now you know the story of Pace trading up and selecting Mitch Trubisky over both Watson and Mahomes in 2017. But over the past two years, more info has come out about that including how Watson really was never formally interviewed by the Bears in the predraft process. Yikes.
Former Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long is currently an analyst for CBS Sports Network and is starting to make the media rounds this week with the Super Bowl on tap. And in a few of those interviews, he’s called out Ryan Pace for that failed evaluation of Watson back in 2017. First, it started with Long saying this about Pace as he appeared as an analyst on CBS Sports Network:
“When Deshaun Watson was coming out of college, Dabo Swinney said: ‘This is the Michael Jordan of football.’ And if you’re not an idiot, you take that seriously. And if you are an idiot, you might go to the pro day and not even have a chat with him.”
Long is referring to Pace not even meeting with Watson at his Pro Day or bringing him into Halas Hall. You can see the full clip below:
"I think the theme here is lack of respect for Deshaun Watson. When you have a superstar you should be willing to move heaven and earth to make sure he is comfortable." @Ky1eLong and @AdamSchein break down the Watson-Texans saga. pic.twitter.com/rFQfgN2QsX
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 1, 2021
It continued on Wednesday as Long was interviewed by Paul Banks of The Sports Bank where he talked again about Watson’s situation and the misevaluation Pace had on him by saying:
“Let’s hope that people can learn from their mistakes, I remember when Ryan Pace and his entire offensive staff went to the Clemson Pro Day, they didn’t speak to Deshaun Watson, and it’s been the bane of their existence ever since,” Long said.
You can read the full interview with Banks which includes more on Trubisky, the end of season presser and more.
Long opted to retire following the 2019 season, a year in which he only played in four games due to an injury. He was drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, making the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons with the franchise before injuries started to derail his career a bit. He now serves as an NFL analyst.