UPDATE: Joe Banner’s article for The 33rd Team is now back online. The first two sentences of the final paragraph have changed.
It no longer says:
The Eagles’ effusiveness and the degree of their enthusiasm about Hurts at the Combine indicates they’re trying to prepare for him being traded to maximize his value. If they can get Watson for Hurts, a first this year, and a first next year, it could go down as one of the best trades in NFL history.
It now reads:
The Eagles’ effusiveness and the degree of their enthusiasm about Hurts at the Combine could be an indicator that the team is trying to maximize the trade value of the player. I do not believe the Eagles would trade Hurts under other circumstances, unless it was for a high-quality QB.
Make of this what you will.
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.
With Aaron Rodgers returning to the Green Bay Packers and Russell Wilson being traded to the Denver Broncos, it looks like the Philadelphia Eagles will truly be moving forward with Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback for 2022.
Or maybe not?
There continues to be trade buzz about the Eagles acquiring Deshaun Watson. The latest on this front comes from ... former Eagles president Joe Banner ... in a now-deleted article for The 33rd Team. (Hat tip to my BGN Radio co-host Jimmy Kempski who noticed this first for PhillyVoice.)
You can CLICK HERE for a link to the deleted article to see that it no longer exists.
You can CLICK HERE for a link to the cached version of the article, which was titled: “Deshaun Watson Is Most Likely To Land With This Team.”
This leaves us with the Philadelphia Eagles, who are the most likely landing spot for Watson. Philly has three first round picks this year: their own pick, Miami’s first from the trade-up for Waddle, and the Colts first from the Wentz trade. They can create the cap room—perhaps not as easily as other teams, but they have the capital to do it. They will, however, want to restructure Watson’s deal a little bit, so the short term cap numbers are a little bit lower.
The Eagles are clearly a team that recognizes if you’re going to win big, you need to have a great quarterback. They selected Donovan McNabb with the second pick in 1999. They signed Michael Vick. They traded and later re-signed Carson Wentz. They even took Jalen Hurts with a second-round pick. Their team building philosophy fits. There are teams that will do whatever it takes to get a great QB, and there are others that will not acquiesce if the QB costs too much. The Eagles fall into the former category. They will be aggressive. They have the capital to do it and an owner who’s shown over time the willingness to spend the money if it matters enough. Plus, by the time Watson realizes how few options he actually has given the circumstances, he will think of Philly as more desirable than he thought a year ago.
The Eagles’ effusiveness and the degree of their enthusiasm about Hurts at the Combine indicates they’re trying to prepare for him being traded to maximize his value. If they can get Watson for Hurts, a first this year, and a first next year, it could go down as one of the best trades in NFL history. They’d be getting a top 5 to top 7 QB for $34M APY. If he were up for an extension right now, he’d get at least $45-47M. I can’t think of an example of a player of this caliber being traded.
One can only speculate why the article has since been deleted. But that it ever existed is certainly ... noteworthy.
The Eagles’ interest in Watson dates back to last offseason. More recently, NFL insider Albert Breer said that he believes Philly will make a “strong bid” for the Houston Texans quarterback. After spending time at the NFL Combine, he also said that “those in the league continue to connect Deshaun Watson to the Eagles and Broncos.”
And with the Broncos trading for Wilson, they’re no longer considered a suitor for Watson.
Speculating about Watson’s future is always pretty weird in that we don’t know exactly what’s to become of him. He’s still subject to discipline — via both the legal system and/or the NFL — due to serious allegations that have been made against him.
Despite this, the Eagles continue to be connected to him. And so his situation continues to be worth monitoring.