For those who tuned into the Super Bowl this past weekend, Patrick Mahomes continues to prove the trade that Andrew Berry made for Deshaun Watson was imperative to try and climb to the elite level. Don’t take this as me saying what the Cleveland Browns did two offseasons ago has paid off, but the thought process certainly wasn’t wrong.
Let me explain exactly why quarterback is so important. Line up the San Francisco 49ers roster side by side to the Kansas City Chiefs and there aren’t a ton of positions where there is an argument that the Chiefs have the better player.
Yes, guys like Chris Jones, Travis Kelce, and L’Jarius Sneed are fantastic players, but overall if you take quarterback away, you will pick the 49ers roster over the Chiefs every single time. In fact, there are likely four or five teams (including the Browns) who have an overall better roster than the Chiefs, except at quarterback.
What Mahomes does for this team is even bigger than Tom Brady or Peyton Manning if you ask me, if you truly think back, both of those guys had elite defenses when they won their titles. This is no put-down to the Chiefs' defense either who played extremely well, but if you gave them Brock Purdy and gave the 49ers Mahomes, I’m not sure the game would have even been close.
So, while the trade for Watson hasn’t exactly panned out just yet, the thought process behind trading six picks (including three first-rounders) and giving the guaranteed contract isn’t that crazy. We have yet to see a full season of Watson playing at an elite level, but we certainly saw flashes in 2023 before the shoulder injury that cut his season short.
The good news for the Browns, they have an elite defense and a fantastic overall roster that has been built over the last three seasons. I’m not saying they need a quarterback who throws for 5,000 yards and wins the MVP of the league, but you certainly need someone who can push the ball down the field no matter what the opposing team throws at them.
Over the last few seasons, the NFL has proven that a good offense can be a good defense. The evolution of the quarterback and rule changes have continued to give an advantage to the offense, and if a team wants to win a championship, they will have to invest in the position.