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George Paton has a ‘Plan A, B, C and D’ for this team - and that includes Watson

Andrew Mason joined Broncos Country Tonight to discuss the new GM, the pursuit of Deshaun Watson plus the still growing potential of Drew Lock.

Andrew Mason joined Broncos Country Tonight on Wednesday and compared Broncos’ new GM George Paton to the country’s aeronautics and space agency in terms of his planning.

“He’s kind of like NASA. You’ve got a primary system. Then you have a backup. Then you have a backup upon a backup, and so on,” Mason said adding that Paton is going to make sure he has a plan for everything. “He’s going to have a plan A, B, C and D. He is somebody who is going to plan for contingencies, plan for the unexpected.”

Of course Mase noted that this means Paton is planning for if Deshaun Watson becomes available - to which Benjamin Allbright added that the NASA analogy was perfect since “Houston, we have a problem with Watson’s availability right now.”

But as Mase pointed out, he believes the new GM’s preparation for every eventuality means he has a plan for “attacking the availability of Deshaun Watson” if it happens (which we have since learned that the Broncos are the odds-on favorite for getting Watson) but will also have a plan if he is not.

And this is a different approach by a Broncos’ GM, according to Mase.

“John Elway famously said, ‘There is no Plan B, we’re going with Plan A,’ so they have two different styles. Paton is somebody who wants to be prepared for any circumstance, any possibility,” Mason said. “That’s why he’s in the building at 4:15 in the morning. It takes time to go through everything and know what you’re going to do should any of these circumstances become a possibility.”

Allbright added that so far the Houston Texans organization does not seem to be budging on trading Watson as the quarterback has requested.

Although Mason does think it’s still very possible that Houston trades Watson, he could easily see it lasting until just before season when all sides are getting desperate.

But he sees this as a benefit to the Broncos in some ways. Denver could easily roll with Drew Lock - even bring in the veteran “hedge” on a one-year deal - and be in better position than most teams come late summer/early season to make an offer for Watson.

“I’d be surprised if it happens the next month if the Texans are as dug in as they say they are. It could easily be a mid-season trade believe it or not,” Mase said. “Denver can wait this out and still go forward with the plan. Broncos can sign a veteran backup, go into preseason and training camp and even the regular season with Drew Lock and that veteran, but if you’re just getting league average production, you’re still in position to get Watson.”

And Mase particularly likes this scenario if the Broncos trade down in the draft and gain some more capital to offer the Texans.

“That actually gives Denver a more advantageous position to pursue Deshaun Watson,” he added.

Allbright once again offered his idea of keeping an eye on Dak Prescott - if not this year because the Cowboys franchise tag him, perhaps the next season, which still begs for Lock and a “veteran hedge” this year.

“I’d rather spend the money side of the house to get a quarterback than the assets side of the house,” Allbright added.

Mase sees Prescott as a top 10 QB and not top five like he sees Watson, but agreed that spending money versus draft capital and players has its benefits long-term.

Which obviously begged the question - what is too much for Watson? To Mase it would be giving up three first-round picks because the more years you take away the draft potential, the more problematic long-term team construction will be.

“If you get into that third first-round and third second-round pick, if you haven’t supplemented talent in other ways in round three and later in the draft, then what if the team is struggling, you bring in Watson and he’s frustrated because he’s wasting his prime and doesn’t have a good team around him?” Mase said. “My line in the sand is finding a way to avoid giving up that third first-round pick.”

Although Mase is all for getting Watson if it’s possible, he’s not completely down on Drew Lock either and recently wrote an article comparing passer ratings of quarterbacks in their first 12 starts (going back to 1990) and then looking at their next six starts to see if they could improve 10 points.

And what he found was that Lock did improve 10 points in his passer rating, which compared well with the QBs who made improvements and became winning quarterbacks - such as Andrew Luck, Trent Green and Derek Carr and even Stan Humphries.

“You look at this scenario and see there are quarterbacks in similar situations that did develop into long-term answers,” Mason said. “Guys can get better and they can be a little bit of a late bloomer.”