NFL trade rumors: Deshaun Watson and Eagles? Another report links the 2

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Dave Zangaro
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Yet another report links Eagles and Deshaun Watson originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Another day, another link between the Eagles and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

This time it comes from Mike Fisher of SI.com, who wrote the following:

“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.

“Watson is of course buried in legal troubles that are completely separate from his trade request - a request that we know GM Nick Caserio grew increasingly amenable to until the flood of sexual assault charges against the star QB.

“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.”

We’ve written this before, but there are obvious reasons why the Eagles should be interested in Watson as a player. He’s a 25-year-old true franchise quarterback who is coming off his best season as a pro and already has three Pro Bowls under his belt. And after trading away Carson Wentz, the Eagles might not have a long-term solution at the most important position in the sport.

But there are significant hurdles. There was already the part about the Texans’ not being interested in trading their franchise quarterback and then came the legal troubles.

As of Wednesday, Watson is facing 20-plus civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and misconduct from female massage therapists.

Fisher’s report on Wednesday is just the latest in a series from several reporters linking the Eagles and Watson. On Friday, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio wrote that the Eagles “could emerge as a real possibility” to land the superstar.

Florio was on with Dan Bernstein and Leila Rahimi of 670TheScore in Chicago on Wednesday and when asked about Watson, brought up the Eagles on his own.

“One team I’ve been told to keep a close watch on is the Philadelphia Eagles,” Florio said. “If they get an opportunity to buy low and get a franchise quarterback and solve that position for the next 10 years, they’re not going to worry about the PR blowback, they’re not going to worry about not having him for all or part of this season. They’re going to potentially be the ones to jump.”

Florio thinks Watson will remain a Texan until these civil cases are resolved or at least until the team trading for him feels a certain level of comfort with the move. That makes sense.

If you’re wondering about the PR blowback the Eagles might face, Florio was asked about that too:

“The Eagles have been down that path,” Florio said. “They found a franchise quarterback for a limited window in Mike Vick. This is a longer window with Deshaun Watson. Those folks in Philly, it’s like getting that one Super Bowl has made them obsessed with more. Nationally you may have some issues, I think locally, they’ll find a way, if they want him and if he finds a way to make this right — I’m not saying it happens now or anytime soon — he gets these cases behind him, he’s not prosecuted, if they really want him as a football player, I think they’ll find a way to get the fans behind him.”

Now, obviously, comparing Vick to Watson isn’t apples to apples. Vick served time and these civil cases against Watson don’t have a resolution. And then we get into a problematic comparison of humans to dogs, but Florio’s point remains about the potential PR blowback. The Eagles were willing to deal with whatever came with Vick and he wasn’t even a franchise quarterback at that time. The Eagles brought him in as a backup. So if they felt comfortable enough to trade for Watson, would they let any backlash stop them?

But Florio also thinks there’s a very good chance the NFL ends up suspending Watson or at least putting him on the commissioner’s exempt list. Either way, Watson is seemingly in danger of missing some or all of the 2021 season.

So even if the Eagles are interested in Watson, don’t expect anything to happen soon. But with potentially three first-round picks next year, the Eagles will have the ammo to make a move like that in a year. Don’t expect this storyline to go away anytime soon.

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