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Report: Deshaun Watson trade talks heating up between Eagles and Texans [UPDATE]

Is this really about to happen?

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

UPDATE: Former Houston Chronicle reporter says nothing is imminent on the Deshaun Watson front.

Mike Florio is also echoing that sentiment.

ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.


Deshaun Watson trade talks are “heating up” between the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans, according to a report from CBS Sports writer Chris Trapasso.

There’s a long timeline of the Eagles being connected to Watson but this is the first time we’ve ever heard any kind of imminency about a deal getting done.

Before we further address the contents of the report, let’s take a moment to talk about the source. Trapasso isn’t a primary NFL news breaker like Adam Schefter or Ian Rapoport. That doesn't mean he’s without sources, though. In March 2020, Trapasso tweeted this:

About an hour later, the Indianapolis Colts traded DeForest Buckner and signed him to an $84 million extension. A search through Trapasso’s Twitter history shows him accurately reporting other news stories. So, one shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his latest hearings on Watson.

This report also comes at an interesting time. Watson suspiciously missed practice the past two days. It’s been said that he was being examined for a foot/ankle injury ... but he hasn’t even been fully participating in practice. It should also be noted (as it recently was on BGN Radio) that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman, vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl, and head coach Nick Sirianni were having a pow-wow on the field after Tuesday’s practice, the first day that Watson was absent from the Texans’ practice field. Also, the Eagles recently just cleared over $14 million in cap space to give them $16.1 million total. That would be enough to take on Watson’s $10.5 million base salary this season.

So, it’s not hard to believe a trade might actually be happening.

Then again, it is hard to believe the Eagles are actually trading multiple valuable assets for someone facing serious allegations and unresolved legal issues. Here’s what we previously wrote about the possibility:

Overall, it’s a complicated situation with an unclear timeline. It seems hard to believe any team would be willing to trade for Watson without a high level of confidence that legal issues and/or suspension won’t seriously impact his availability.

Then again, it’s incredibly rare that a quarterback of Watson’s ilk is available. He’s a 25-year-old elite talent under team control through 2025. And it’s exactly this reason why the Eagles are rumored to be so intrigued about the possibility of acquiring him.

Understandably, there are those who want nothing to do with seeing Watson in a midnight green uniform. Some fans would just not be interested in cheering for him given the allegations that have come to light.

Even putting that aside, which isn’t easy to do, there’s a belief that the Eagles are best served to give Jalen Hurts a chance to be their franchise quarterback. If he proves to be The Guy, Philly can use their future draft picks to build around him instead of shipping them out to acquire a new starter. Such a scenario would be ideal.

But is it realistic? The Eagles seem to have reservations about Hurts. And that’s not unreasonable. He ultimately struggled as a rookie. Sure, he’s only 22 and has the potential and work ethic to improve. Can he realistically bridge the gap between being one of the league’s worst starters and one of the very best, though?

If we know anything about Jeffrey Lurie, he really cares about offense. He literally said “I put a heavy emphasis on wanting to have an elite offense” in his postseason press conference earlier this year. And, as Doug Pederson can attest to, he specifically cares about passing offense. So much so that Pederson was reportedly questioned for not passing more often in two of Philadelphia’s wins during the 2019 season.

It seems clear, then, that Lurie isn’t interested in settling at the quarterback position. ‘Good enough’ isn’t going to be good enough for the Eagles’ owner. He’s in pursuit of an elite quarterback and, again, Watson represents a rare opportunity. Going back to the very first report of the Eagles’ interest in Watson, it was Lurie’s name that came up.

Regarding Hurts, he’s been up and down in camp. It’s early and there’s time for things to change, to be clear, but there just hasn’t been a night and day difference from last year. Perhaps the Eagles have reached a point where they feel they need to upgrade.

But, assuming he’s not included in the deal, Hurts might be playing a good chunk — if not the entirety — of the Eagles’ 2021 season anyway. Watson isn’t just subject to legal discipline; he’s likely bound to face punishment from the NFL in some form. A multiple-game suspension seems very much in play.

Maybe this is all much ado about nothing. But if the report is to be believed, it sounds like a Watson could be in Philly sooner than expected.