One trade involving two starting quarterbacks already has been consummated this offseason, and one of the league’s best signal-callers wants out of the worst organization in professional sports.
Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff have switched places. Deshaun Watson yearns to get out of Houston.
There are also some rumblings about the possibility that some other top-flight quarterbacks could be on the move. But such speculation about Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson seems extremely far-fetched.
Watson is the player that warrants the most attention because he appears ready to do whatever is necessary to resume his career with an organization that gives him a chance to succeed.
If the Texans ever make Watson available, the cost of doing business with them will be exorbitant.
In addition to the healthy haul of draft picks the Texans would seek from any team to even begin the discussions about Watson, they could also ask for a top-of-the-game established player to be tossed into the trade package, too.
And that leads to the question, as it pertains to the 49ers, which players are off-limits in a trade for an elite quarterback?
Each is a great player who figures to be a pillar of the 49ers for a long time. Bosa, however, could take a huge contract extension as early as next season to keep him around beyond the time his rookie contract is set to expire after the 2022 season.
It would be excruciating for the 49ers to part ways with any of their young, homegrown stars. But it also might be the best way to accomplish the organizational goal of establishing itself as a perennial championship contender.
Really, the only way a team can reach that level of consistency to compete for a Super Bowl every season is to have one of the top quarterbacks in the game.
The top-five winning teams over the past 11 seasons (2010 to 2020) are New England, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Seattle.
Of course, it’s not a coincidence that Tom Brady, Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Wilson were the leaders of those teams.
We all saw what just happened: Brady leaves, the Patriots tank, and his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have a drunken fiesta on the Hillsborough River.
Moreover, my money is on Kansas City, Baltimore and Buffalo posting high win totals, as long as Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are around to lead their respective teams.
However, there are a few teams that had their franchise quarterback and still were unable to win on a year-in, year-out basis. Philip Rivers, Stafford and, heck, Watson come to mind.
Those failings, however, fall on the organizations for not providing structure and enough support to build consistency.
Still, there is no way to get around the observation that the best teams also have the better quarterbacks. And the longer those quarterbacks are with an organization, the more those teams pile up victories.
So, yes, as painful as the answer might be, it is also quite simple.
Is there any player off-limits if the 49ers have an opportunity to acquire a young, franchise quarterback?