The Lions got a haul for Stafford, setting the market Deshaun Watson

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Two of the veteran quarterbacks believed to be on the market this offseason are no longer an option for the Broncos. In one trade, both Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff found new homes.

And that was the only bad news to emerge on Saturday night for Denver. In addition to losing out on Stafford, despite reportedly offering the No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the price tag of getting the other top-tier quarterback looking to be traded likely went up.

The Rams sent first-round picks in 2022 and ’23, a third-round pick this year and Goff to the Lions in exchange for Stafford. Given that Goff was once the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and has led his team to a Super Bowl during his time in Los Angeles, that’s a steep price.

If Stafford is worth that much, how much is Deshaun Watson going to command? The Texans were already likely to be seeking a king’s ransom for their quarterback, but now the price most likely went up.

Watson is only 25 years old, is coming off of a season in which he led the NFL in passing yards and is much more mobile than Stafford. Plus, he’s durable, only missing one game in the past three seasons. Essentially, he’s the closest thing to Patrick Mahomes in the league.

That’s why half of the teams in the NFL have reportedly inquired about Watson, whereas the market was allegedly softer for Stafford than the Lions had hoped. With that kind of demand, it seems unlikely that Houston would take less than four first-round picks, or young players who are the equivalent of a No. 1, for their star quarterback.

That’s nearly a half decade’s worth of premium selections for one player. It’s a steep price, but one that was likely set on Saturday when the Stafford-Goff blockbuster was announced.

For the Broncos, that might look like two No. 1’s, Bradley Chubb and Noah Fant. Is a price George Paton is willing to pay? He might have to if Denver’s new general manager wants to solve the QB quandary in the Mile High City.