After reports surfaced about DeShaun Watson’s unhappiness with the Houston Texans in early January of 2021, the star quarterback officially requested a trade from the team after the franchise hired David Culley to be the new Head Coach. Watson’s unhappiness grew from the organization’s unwillingness to involve him in decision-making and the overall direction of the franchise. This, however, was not the biggest storyline related to DeShaun Watson. In the spring of 2021, multiple women began accusing the Texans quarterback of sexual misconduct. As of this date, there are currently 22 civil accusations and 10 criminal complaints made about Watson. DeShaun Watson’s camp denies these allegations. With that being said, DeShaun Watson is currently at Training Camp for the Texans. He has not yet at least been placed on Roger Goodell’s Commissioner’s Exempt List and remains an active NFL player. There seems to be a chance Watson is playing NFL football this season with no resolution in sight. However, it’s unlikely he remains with the Houston Texans.
So how are the Philadelphia Eagles involved with this? For months the franchise has been connected with DeShaun Watson, and many believe they have serious interest in acquiring him from the Texans. With the help of Brandon Lee Gowton from Bleeding Green Nation, we will look at the DeShaun Watson Timeline in relation to the Eagles.
On March 17th, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora had this to say about the parties:
“Do not discount the Philadelphia Eagles as a strong suitor for Deshaun Watson. Too many sources with ties to ownership have whispered that sentiment my way for me to ignore. [...] It is indisputable that the Eagles are monitoring the Watson situation closely and evaluating it. No one in that organization would deny that. [...] Some in the Eagles brass would try to poo-poo the idea of their interest by noting there must be about 30 teams paying close attention to this situation, but my sense is this is much more than an idea on the periphery; I get the sense this is something ownership, and management would very much like to make happen. “I hear that it is very much at the ownership level,” as one league source put it. “No action for the Eagles,” one GM said. “It has to be killing them.” Another GM said: “Would Howie trading for Watson surprise me? No. Now that you mention it.”
The credibility of JLC is a topic of conversation, but it is well known that Eagles GM Howie Roseman has a good relationship with La Canfora. The interesting part of this initial report is the part about the ownership. Any trade for DeShaun Watson would have to be approved by owner Jeffery Lurie; or any other owner. However, it seems like Lurie is ready to sign off on a trade like this and even is encouraging it. Two days later, Philadelphia Inquirer writer Jeff McLane mentioned in a piece that an NFL source familiar with the situation said that “Howie will give up everything he has for Watson.”
At that point in March, the Eagles did not have the draft capital to make a run at DeShaun Watson yet. Nine days later, the Eagles trade with the Miami Dolphins that landed them a 2022 1st round pick from the Phins. The Eagles now had at least two 1st round picks, two 2nd round picks, and all of their guaranteed daft capital for the next two years. In an instant, they had the ability to control the NFL Draft, as well as any quarterback movement.
The Eagles’ interest in Watson was consistently mentioned by the Houston Chronicle, who on March 22nd and April 6th that the Eagles remain interested and are monitoring the legal situation. Jeff McLane once again reported on the situation on July 28th, mentioning that the Eagles were still monitoring the status of Watson.
Trading for DeShaun Watson would be a big move for any franchise. Unsurprisingly, Howie Roseman is looking to make that big move. Two corresponding reports from April and May mention the Eagles looking to significantly upgrade the roster. On April 9th ProFootballTalk published an article saying:
“Much has to happen before Deshaun Watson could be traded, especially if he’s going to be traded at or around the 2021 draft. If somehow, Watson manages to properly and appropriately settle the 22 civil lawsuits pending against him before the draft, there’s one team to watch closely as a potential destination. The Eagles. Yes, the Eagles. They have Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco, but Deshaun Watson has proven that he’s a franchise quarterback and one of the best players in the NFL. As one league source explains it, the Eagles are sufficiently determined to upgrade the team that they would pursue Watson if the window opens for doing so.”
That report went along nicely with ESPN Insider Dianna Russini’s statements she made on May 14th on 98.7. Russini said:
"I don't want to make any predictions, but I still think they're going to wind up doing something big before the start of the season to improve their roster."
"I don't know anything at this point, firm. It's obviously rumors. [...] Trading [Deshaun Watson] is on the table. They're open to it. I was on "Get Up" for three months saying it's not happening [...] They've changed their tune. I've heard, and even just continued talking with them, that it's still on the table. They've got to deal with these lawsuits, I think that's going to go away. And I think this is going to come back to light this summer, guys, and I think the Eagles could be a team in on it."
Now let’s rewind back to April for a moment, April 14th to be exact. This is what Texas-based NFL Insider Mike Fisher had to say on the situation.
“The Philadelphia Eagles are trying to find a direction. So are the Houston Texans. And according to an NFL source, despite their various issues, the two teams could still get together on a Deshaun Watson trade. [...] Meanwhile, the Eagles are trying to straighten themselves out as well, having traded away Carson Wentz with a tentative plan to hand their QB job to young Jalen Hurts - except that our source insists that Philadelphia’s desire to secure Watson remains in place. [...] It has been speculated that a Watson trade may be months away. It’s even been speculated that a swap is “impossible.’’ We’re not sure that is so. Some level of clarity could come before that. Some level of risk-taking by a bidder could as well. But this we know: The Philadelphia Eagles’ interest in trading for Deshaun Watson remains in play.”
The DeShaun Watson-Eagles front did not go quiet after the NFL Draft either. On May 10th, respected NFL Reporter Peter King said it was his “gut feeling” that DeShaun Watson ended up in Philadelphia. On July 14th, ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter said on live television that the Eagles “are more equipped to make a run at Deshaun Watson than any team out there.”
As Training Camp came closer and closer, more and more rumors came to the surface. Eagles writer John McMullen had NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on his show in July. When asked how long would it takes the Eagles and Howie Roseman to pursue Watson after the legal issues evaporated, Garafolo’s response was simple. “How long does it take to evaporate.” Once the issues are resolved, or maybe even before, the Eagles will be going after Watson. If more proof is needed, very well-respected Eagles reported Derrick Gunn tweeted out on July 28th that the Eagles’ interest in DeShaun Watson is accurate and very serious.
A source close to the situation told All About the Birds on June 17th that the Eagles want DeShaun Watson, but not for the Houston Texans’ original price. The team is concerned with current quarterback Jalen Hurts’ accuracy, which has seemingly been an issue in Training Camp still.
So now we are all caught up on the DeShaun Watson front BEFORE August. Since then, we have had three new reports from different NFL sources. On August 5th Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson said on the Rich Eisen Show that when teams, like the Panthers and Jets, dropped out of the Watson talks, they all left with a similar sentiment. They all came away saying “watch Philly” and believed that they were the ones who would make the big run at Watson. An interesting topic that Robinson brought up is that teams want protections on high draft choices that are sent to Houston in a trade. Then three days later, on August 5th, Adam Caplan said that Philadelphia first contacted Houston a week after trading Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts on February 18th. This saga has gone on for a very, very long time, people.
Last but certainly not least, we have the report from CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso that stated that:
This report was shot down quickly by reporters like Mike Florio, Benjamin Albright, and Aaron Wilson, but as Greg Richards(@igglesnut on Twitter) mentioned that at one point, a Carson Wentz trade was “close” and “imminent” but still took 14 days after the report to happen. Trapasso has stuck by his report, and it’s hard to believe a reporter would hurt their credibility with a false report.
So there we have it. That is every report that has connected the Philadelphia Eagles from the middle of March through early August. I highly doubt that there is any water thrown on this fire anytime soon. The Eagles’ interest in Watson is legitimate, and they want to bring him in as the next franchise quarterback. For what it’s worth, Michael Lombardi said on WIP last week that a team made a substantial offer to the Houston Texans for DeShaun Watson and were turned away. Could that have been the Eagles? The Texans are currently hoping to convince Watson to stay, but as Houston reporter John McClain said on August 9th that is not happening. The Texans have not yet gotten an offer great enough to move Watson yet at this time.
As I sit here writing this, I wonder who caves first. Does Philadelphia, if they have made one before, send Houston an offer closest to what they want, or does Houston give in and move Watson before the situation gets worse? Only time will tell. At the end of the day, I do believe the Philadelphia Eagles eventually trade for DeShaun Watson.
My bold prediction right here right now is that the Philadelphia Eagles walk into the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Week 1 with DeShaun Watson as their starting quarterback.