Reading the Media Tea Leaves

I was watching a video from Mike Florio over at Pro Football Talk, and he was suggesting he still thinks the Texans will trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. I was like, WHAT?!

Last season, Garoppolo threw 20 td’s and 12 picks over 17 games. Pretty pedestrian numbers considering his receiving corps.

On the other hand, Davis Mills threw 16 td’s and 10 picks in only 13 games. Pro-rated over 17 games, and he would have had 21 td’s and 13 picks. And he had ONE good WR (Brandin Cooks)!

And Houston would trade draft capital away for a QB who is older, and at best only comparable to their current starter who was a rookie last year? Is Florio smoking crack?

No, he is just showing either his bias or his desire to draw eyeballs as a journalist. Either way, you as the media consumer need to be careful about this BS. Take it with a grain of salt until you see it play out in real news.

By the way, this goes for Fantasy Pros writers too. Kelly Kirby did the following write-up on Texans backup QB Kyle Allen (this was 4 months ago):

" QB Kyle Allen has signed a one-year deal with Houston. (Aaron Wilson on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact:

The contract is worth $2.5 million with a max value of $3 million. The four-year veteran has played for both Carolina and Washington, appearing in 21 games with 17 starts. Given the unknown status of the quarterback situation in Houston, it is hard to recommend Allen as a fantasy asset, even in superflex leagues; however, if he breaks camp as the starter, he has had some success in the past and might be worth rostering."

“If he breaks camp as the starter”? You mean if Davis Mills suffers a serious injury, and the Texans don’t trade for Jimmy G. immediately? Come on Kelly, get real.

This is why I tell everyone: Read the rumor mill stories and football analysis skeptically. But read as much as you can. You will have to read your own tea leaves, and don’t take any one source as gospel, even if they have a proven track record.

P.S. Back to Davis Mills, I won’t call him the next Deshaun Watson, but maybe the next Justin Herbert if the Texans can surround him with some talent. He looked excellent for a rookie last season. If he takes a step up, the Texans could easily be a .500 team this year, and even win some games they shouldn’t. In dynasty leagues, he’s definitely a “hold” asset, and even a QB2 in superflex.

I think I said it before - I like Mills as a player, but if there is one franchise that can easily ruin him, then it’s the Texans.

Heard the Jimmy G rumors last week already, and it seems they are intensifying. If the Texans sign him, they will start him.

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I think that’d be a huge mistake. We’ve seen Jimmy G’s upside, and it ain’t much. At best, he’s a game manager. Mills at least has shown some potential.

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I’m not saying it’s a smart thing to do. Only that it is a move I can see the Texans making.

The HC who drafted Mills last year is gone. Last year’s QB coach has been promoted to OC, but we don’t know if, behind closed doors, he’s a Mills supporter.

Plus, the 2021 Texans played a much better season than pretty much anybody would have expected. That still got the HC fired.

If the new HC went with Mills, and the Texans put up the expected losing record, he might get fired as well. But if he gives the ownership a 3 year plan that involves drafting the new franchise QB next year, he’ll probably buy himself those 3 years on the HC chair.

Mills could face the same dilemma as Gardner Minshew in 2020: winning games for a franchise that aims for the 1.01. Mills has something to prove. He won’t like being told to lose games so that the franchise gets into a better position to draft his successor. A Jimmy G on borrowed time will have less issues doing that.

They love their superstar QBs in Houston, and Mills may not have the name and the aura to gain the support he’d need to establish himself within the franchise.

Here’s my hot take on the Houston QB future: they will go with Jimmy G in 2022, get the desired early pick in the 2023 draft, pick one of the top QB prospects, who then won’t live up to expectations, which leads to the Texans trading for Kyler Murray in a 2025 offseason blockbuster deal. They’ll give Murray a monster contract, but he’ll be a bust in the 2025 season, leading to him getting replaced by a mid-round rookie QB in 2026, who will play surprisingly well, but will never be seen as a long-term solution within the franchise.

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…and Davis Mills ends up on some currently losing franchise, turns them around into a playoff team, and resurrects his career.

Any QB who gets 16 td’s and 10 picks in his rookie year has some serious potential to me. Peyton Manning had 26 td’s and 28 picks, and Brady’s first season as a starter (his second season technically) he had 18 td’s and 12 picks. I want to see what Mills can do.

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Gardner Minshew, 2019. 14 games played, 6-8 record on an underwhelming team with a pretty horrible schedule. 21 TDs to 6 INTs.

I remember week 1. The Jags played vs the Chiefs. Nick Foles went down early with an injury. In came a 6th round rookie whom I’ve never heard of before, and looked as if all he’s ever done in his life was quarterbacking an underdog team against the defending World Champions.

He doesn’t have a great arm or outstanding mechanics. But he showed some great decision making, and the team was obviously following him.

I placed waiver bids on him before the game was over, and hold him until today.

Players like Minshew and Mills deserve a chance in the NFL, but will sadly rarely get one. I’m not as optimistic as you are on Mills’ future, but would really prefer to be wrong here.

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One thing to remember about Mills is he was a top-rated high school prospect going into college. If you look at him, he has a prototype body, at 6’4" and 225 pounds. He LOOKS like he was built to play QB. His numbers back it up.

I would never knock Minshew. He was the best part of a lot of bad Jaguar teams. I expect you’ll see his career get resurrected at some point, similar to Ryan Fitzpatrick.