The Eagles’ season is going to end no matter what they do. They have the record, they have the talent and they have the proven track record of success. What they don’t have is the one thing they need to beat the Patriots: a quarterback. Sunday’s loss to Washington should be considered the first of many for the Eagles this season. Before they contend again and before they even consider contending next year, they will need to figure out what they’re doing with the quarterback position.
In retrospect, it’s easy to look back at the stupid mistakes and bad decisions that the Eagles made early in the 2017 season and laugh. That’s what happened last year, when the Eagles started the season 3-1, with a chance to win the Super Bowl. Then, after a loss in the season opener to the Atlanta Falcons, they ended up losing five of their next six, finishing the year 7-9. However, there’s reason to be concerned about this year’s team, even if the Eagles start out 3-1.
The collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players recently expired, and the league has since proposed a new CBA to the players’ union. This new proposal includes a number of changes to the league’s salary cap, among which is a provision that would allow teams to pick up the option years of their drafted rookies and first-round picks.
Deshaun Watson’s time in Houston seems to be dwindling, and a few clubs have shown interest in acquiring the unhappy quarterback. One of those clubs is the Philadelphia Eagles, who would otherwise enter the 2021 season with Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback.
Although adding a superstar like Watson to the roster is appealing, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman must resist the temptation to make a trade for a quarterback who would be much more trouble than he’s worth.
The Texans have set a price on Deshaun Watson.
The Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson rushes with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles | Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
Watson has had the most intense offseason scrutiny of any player in the NFL who isn’t Aaron Rodgers. He got things started by seeking a trade from the Houston Texans practically immediately after the regular season concluded in 2020. Watson’s NFL future became even more hazy when sexual misconduct accusations from 22 other women began to surface a few months later.
Watson’s worrisome legal problems have yet to be resolved, but the conundrum over his future NFL club may be resolved shortly.
On Monday morning, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that the Texans are considering trade offers for their star quarterback. Watson may be on the road in as little as a few days – or even hours.
What would the Texans want in exchange? In a nutshell, a lot.
“Per two league officials, the @Texans price for Deshaun Watson has been some combination of 5 high draft selections and starter quality players,” ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tweeted Monday.
If any club is bold enough to offer the Texans what they want, it would be a historic haul. In 1989, the Minnesota Vikings traded five players and six draft choices to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for Herschel Walker.
Maybe not nearly as stupid as that.
The Eagles must resist the temptation to pay Watson’s contract.
The Panthers, Broncos, Dolphins, and Eagles are the four clubs in the Watson sweepstakes, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo. However, one of those clubs may be in the lead to sign the 25-year-old superstar.
Howard Eskin, an NFL reporter and host for 94 WIP and Fox 29 in Philadelphia, spoke on the Eagles’ prospects of getting Watson on the SportsRadio 94 WIP Midday Show last week:
“Based on the information I obtained, I believe there is a 90 percent probability that he will be dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles when — and I emphasize WHEN — he is moved.”
When Eskin dropped that bomb on the city, Philly supporters erupted in applause, but they need to slow down a little.
Due to the ongoing legal concerns surrounding Watson, trading for him now would be a death sentence for the Eagles. He’s now facing over 20 legal claims from women claiming sexual assault, all of which seem to be repeating the same narrative. It’s unlikely that this was simply a coincidence or part of a well-planned slander effort against Watson.
Watson and his legal team will almost certainly reach a deal to end this troubling issue. Watson is unlikely to face any prison time as a result of these allegations, so after the cases are resolved, he should be able to return to the NFL.
But it doesn’t alter the fact that Watson was dubbed a “serial predator” by one of the women who filed a complaint against him, and maybe rightly so. If the Eagles spend a record sum to make him the franchise’s face, they’ll have much more issues than ensuring Watson memorizes the playbook by Week 1.
Jalen Hurts is deserving of a chance.
Aside from Watson’s legal troubles, the Eagles owe it to Jalen Hurts to give him a chance to be the franchise quarterback in the future. There’s a reason Roseman and company selected Hurts in the second round when Carson Wentz was still on the roster last summer. Now he gets a whole season to show that his decision was sound.
Hurts is a gifted athlete who can effortlessly avoid pressure and create good plays out of nothing. He’s got a strong arm, isn’t afraid to take shots down the field, and has a track record of winning at every stop in his football career.
Sounds a lot like the guy the Eagles want to trade for, doesn’t it?
The only distinctions? Hurts is already under contract and on his rookie contract, so the Eagles have plenty of opportunity to enhance the squad in the coming years. He’s also three years Watson’s junior. He also doesn’t have 22 women accusing him of sexual predatory behavior.
Hurts has the potential to be a star in the NFL, but the Eagles won’t know until they hand him the keys to the team this season.
Save your money, your future assets, and most importantly, your reputation by passing on Watson, Howie Roseman.
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