Second-biggest loser: Michael Thomas and the New Orleans Saints offense
When the Denver Broncos and new head coach Nathaniel Hackett traded for Russell Wilson, that’s an incredible way to start your new head coaching gig. Dennis Allen, New Orleans’ new head coach, isn’t going to get that. Instead, being stuck with Taysom Hill and Ian Book, who struggled last year, will make life more complicated.
Did I mention that Tom Brady is coming back? Yes, the Saints swept them in 2021. But where they sit in the draft could make getting one of the top quarterbacks (albeit in a weak class) very tough. Jameis Winston could return after suffering a season-ending injury, but he is currently an unrestricted free agent.
Third-biggest winner in the Deshaun Watson trade: Lovie Smith
Lovie Smith saw Mills’s promise in him during his rookie campaign last season. Now with three extra first-round picks, it should not only give him a better offense for this year alone but also more job security.
Texans fans shouldn’t fret over the chance of Josh McCown coming and being the head coach within the next two years with compensation like that. This is setting up to be a pretty bright scenario for Smith, especially if he can take advantage of the weakened AFC South.
Second-biggest winner: Davis Mills
Mills withstood an entire year of trade talks and proposals, and nobody knew if a quarterback would come with the trade compensation. Mills also played to the best of his ability despite a terrible roster. Now armed with Pep Hamilton as his offensive coordinator and an offense that’s bound to improve, Mills can take a deep breath and finally move on.
Mills also gets another season with Brandin Cooks. If 2022 can go well for these two, maybe Cooks will stay in Houston and continue to serve as the team’s top receiver.