Deshaun Watson: Would-be trade to Eagles just got tougher
By Peter Panacy
Deshaun Watson is back at Texans camp but still wants a trade. And while the Eagles are a possibility, another player’s injury complicates matters a lot.
If television wanted to make a soap opera about Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, it’d likely be a pretty lucrative hit series.
And that would be without the off-field allegations of sexual misconduct, which can’t be overlooked right now. But for the sake of this article, let’s try to focus on the business side of the game and where Watson fits in.
Or where he doesn’t.
Watson is back at Texans training camp, but he hasn’t shied away from wanting a trade. Houston, looking at a lengthy and painful rebuild, is apparently entertaining offers for the three-time Pro Bowl and 2020 passing leader.
Yet the 2021 quarterbacking market has dried up a lot since this year’s NFL Draft, and many of the would-be interested teams are probably much more focused on their own rosters right now. At least for the time being.
Of course, one of those teams emerging from the pile of uninterested squads is the Philadelphia Eagles. True, Philadelphia appears initially committed to second-year pro Jalen Hurts. But if the Eagles want to get right back into contention within a wide-open NFC East, adding Watson would be a great move, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter pointed out:
Except there’s a catch now. A big one.
Deshaun Watson to Eagles made tougher by Carson Wentz injury
Philly fans surely have no love lost for their former quarterback, Carson Wentz, who unceremoniously was shipped off to the Indianapolis Colts during the offseason.
And it looks like Wentz might have one more piece to “stick it” to his former squad, even though it wasn’t at all intended.
Wentz is undergoing surgery on his foot this offseason, which is expected to sideline him between five and 12 weeks, the latter scenario obviously being the biggest concern to Indianapolis, which wouldn’t be in the running for Watson anyway because of both cap restraints and the almost-impossible high-profile inter-divisional trades.
Instead, Wentz’s injury has a direct impact on what the Eagles might be able to offer for Watson.
As Texans Wire’s Coty Davis pointed out:
"When the Eagles traded Wentz to Indianapolis in March, the Colts sent a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick. If Wentz played 75% of the Colts’ regular-season snaps or appeared in 70% of the snaps and Indianapolis qualified for the playoffs, the Eagles would have been awarded a first-round pick for the exchange."
There’s a real chance Wentz misses at least a quarter of the regular season, and even a 70-percent appearance rate with a Colts playoff berth seems unlikely.
Currently, the Eagles have two first-round picks, and the conditional third first-round pick might have been the perfect package to offer up for Watson and one that would have easily outbid other possible trade contenders like the Miami Dolphins, as Davis pointed out.
Just like that, Philly doesn’t appear so certain to be a top contender to trade for Watson. While there’s always a chance the Eagles dip into their pool of 2023 draft picks to make a deal stick, the Wentz injury surely changes matters.
A lot. And potentially to the point where Watson doesn’t wind up going there, if anywhere at all in the immediate future.