In a perfect world, Deshaun Watson would be getting ready for Organized Team Activities next week with the Houston Texans, and with his new head coach David Culley. In a slightly less perfect world, he would have been traded by now for multiple first round picks, and he would be getting ready for OTA's with his new employer.
However, the world we are in now with Deshaun Watson is far from perfect. Amidst three weeks of silence from the attorneys involved, there are still 22 civil lawsuits outstanding against Watson, and everything football-related with the Texans' quarterback is in a holding pattern. The aforementioned silence has led to conjecture that there are settlements being worked out between Watson and his accusers. In turn, THAT has led to renewed speculation of where Watson could end up getting traded eventually.
From his weekly "Football Morning in America" column on Monday, here is what longtime NFL reporter Peter King speculated about the Watson situation:
I think predicting the future of Deshaun Watson is fraught with, well, it’s impossible. I just think by a year from today he’ll have a new home. This is a gut feeling. It’s impossible to predict the future with so many legal issues involved. And depending on the outcome of the cases, several teams might not want to even think about Watson, and rightfully so. If he’s free to play football unencumbered by legal issues in 2022, here are my odds on Watson’s next football team, with a tie at the top:
3-1: Philadelphia. A likely need, plus Eagles are in perfect position to deal with three first-round picks (if Carson Wentz plays three-quarters of the Indy season).
3-1: Carolina. Owner David Tepper would find the resources to do a deal.
It's been reported that the Texans, despite the outward appearance of not budging on a Watson trade request, were eventually going to move the fifth year QB before the 2021 draft. That obviously didn't happen, and the Texans' overhaul and rebuild were stunted for a year. The year 2021 is now about cleaning up some of Bill O'Brien's mess, and 2022 will be about finding foundational pieces.
So, with that in mind, I actually really like King's handicapping of Watson to the Philadelphia Eagles, so much so that I think they could come away with an even better trade package than the ones they could have had pre-2021 draft. Again, this presumes that Watson comes away from the lawsuits and NFL investigation with an outcome that makes him tradable.
If that does happen, the Eagles are easily the best (and most fun!) trade partner. Here is why:
1. Eagles could have THREE 2022 first round picks to trade the Texans in a Watson deal
Right now, the Eagles have their own 2022 first round pick, Miami's 2022 first round pick (from the deal that allowed Miami to move up from 12th to 6th overall a couple weeks ago), and POSSIBLY the Colts' 2022 first round pick (from the Carson Wentz trade, where it's a first round pick if Wentz plays 75 percent of the snaps this season for Indy, and a second round pick if he doesn't). That's a TON of ammo to trade for one of the half dozen or so best quarterbacks in the league. Unlike the last two seasons, the Texans also have their own first round pick, so there's a scenario where they could have FOUR first round picks in 2022. Has that ever happened before? Now THAT is a nuclear rebuild scenario!
2. Deshaun would have to play for Nick Sirianni, which would be fascinating to see him stick up for him like he did OB
So yes, there are good roster construction reasons why Watson to the Eagles benefits us in Houston. From purely an amusement standpoint, though, there are a few other reasons. First, can you imagine Deshaun Watson having to play for this dope?
“The first part of being smart is knowing what to do.”— TRP ???? (@trplive) February 2, 2021
- Eagle’s new head coach Nick Sirianni ????
Honestly, if the NFL decides to suspend Watson for his alleged transgressions, they should make playing for Nick Sirianni part of the punishment, too.
3. The two teams play here at NRG in 2022 … something to hype up!
A trade to Philadelphia would send Watson over to the NFC, where the Texans only see those teams once every four years, and they only come to NRG Stadium once every eight years. However, it just so happens that NEXT SEASON is one of those years. It would be fascinating to see what kind of reception Deshaun Watson would get in a return to Houston. Two months ago, I would have said a standing ovation is a LOCK. Now, with Watson's off field business preventing the Texans from moving on, I sense many Texans fans are angry with or disappointed in Watson. Either way, the Eagles coming to Houston would be a VERY promotable event!
4. If it goes sideways, I don’t think the Philly media will stand for Deshaun’s chalk talks in pressers (like Week 4 in 2019 vs CAR)
The other underrated source of amusement would be watching Watson navigate the Philly media landscape, which is light years tougher and more vitriolic than the Houston media landscape. For example, when Deshaun answered this question from Aaron Reiss of The Athletic back in 2019 after a loss to Carolina by explaining coverages (very cordially, I might add), how would Philly media and Philly fans take that?
Deshaun Watson explains Carolina's defense in 66 seconds. pic.twitter.com/8Fn4OAKHk3— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) September 29, 2019
So, if you're looking for a scenario to root for in the Watson drama, aside from justice being served and the truth ruling the day, root for Watson to Philly. You won't be disappointed.
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