NFL

Philadelphia Eagles reportedly could pursue Deshaun Watson trade

The Philadelphia Eagles pulled the trigger on a Carson Wentz trade this offseason, opening the door for Jalen Hurts to become the face of the franchise. Months later, it seems the organization is already thinking about alternatives.

Philadelphia turned to Hurts, its 2020 second-round pick, as the starter after Wentz’s struggles. When the front office completed the blockbuster trade with the Indianapolis Colts, word broke that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie wanted Hurts as the team’s unquestioned starter.

The confidence in Hurts doesn’t seem to be shared throughout the organization. As a result, the Eagles might be putting the pieces in place to make a blockbuster trade.

That’s according to a report by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who shared that one NFL source believes the Eagles are determined to upgrade at quarterback and would pursue a Deshaun Watson trade if it becomes an option.

Just over a month ago, Watson was the most talked about name on the trade market. The superstar quarterback wanted the Houston Texans to trade him and was prepared to sit out the 2021 season to make it happen. Then, sexual assault allegations came out against Watson. He is now under criminal investigation, and the NFL launched an inquiry.

With Watson’s accusers now speaking publicly, companies such as Nike have suspended their endorsement deals with the Pro Bowl quarterback. Prospective teams who were interested in acquiring him have also backed away. The San Francisco 49ers moved up for the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and the Carolina Panthers pulled off a Sam Darnold trade.

Philadelphia Eagles mock draft: Full 7-round 2021 NFL Draft projection

Amid all the uncertainty regarding Watson’s future, the Eagles’ interest is documented. The front office was reportedly connected to him early when the allegations first came out, but the interest remains.

What would a Watson trade cost?

While Watson is facing more than 20 allegations of sexual harassment and assault, recent NFL history suggests his career isn’t over. He could face discipline from the NFL, and the new criminal investigation puts him at greater risk for landing on the Commissioner’s Exempt list, but he will likely see the field again.

Before the allegations emerged, the Texans were refusing to trade him. Even for the organization to consider a deal, it would come at a staggering cost. Many estimated Houston would need at least three first-round picks, multiple Day 2 picks and a young player.

Any chance of a return such as that is now gone. There is less of a market for Watson following several deals and while clubs such as the Denver Broncos and Eagles remain interested, the Texans lost significant leverage. On top of that, no front office would risk the image hit of acquiring Watson when there is still great uncertainty.

The Eagles do have the No. 12 overall pick this year, along with multiple picks in each of the first two rounds for the 2022 NFL Draft. Despite the reported desire to upgrade upon Hurts, however, Philadelphia certainly wouldn’t part with all of those picks for Watson.

It will likely be months before another team even tries to trade for Watson. But when that moment comes and general managers have clarity following the NFL’s investigation, the Eagles certainly have the capital to land whatever quarterback they want.



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