What would an Eagles trade for Deshaun Watson look like?

NFL: DEC 23 Texans at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 23: Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) changes the play during the game between the Houston Texans and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 23, 2018, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia,PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

While the NFL’s elite juke it out in the playoffs, the rest of the league is outlining a blueprint to ensure that they make the big dance in 2021. For the Texans and the Eagles, a change at quarterback could well be on the cards…but could they help each other out?

Eagles QB Carson Wentz

There have been more contradicting reports surrounding the future of Carson Wentz than there were failed 4th down attempts this past year. Some reports state that the relationship between Wentz and the Eagles is salvageable and that the team want to find a Head Coach who can help fix him, while others are quick to point out that Wentz would much rather be blessed with an early exit and a fresh start.

The former second overall pick clearly regressed last year. How much of that is on his shoulders is now the $127M question, as more and more tidbits continue to leak out, citing the beginning of an arrogant downfall.

Moving on from Wentz really won’t be easy. If they trade him, there’s a whopping $33.8M cap hit to swallow up. This is a nightmare scenario for a team already over $65M deep into a salary cap hole that they need to climb out of this offseason.

But if the right team comes along, who’s to say that Wentz won’t help facilitate his own departure?

Texans QB Deshaun Watson

It’s hard to really understand what went wrong in Houston, but the entire franchise looks like it’s about to catch fire. Most recently, Watson has reportedly suggested Head Coach candidates for the team to interview, only for their franchise QB to have his input totally ignored.

This is the latest in a long line of dysfunctional decisions that have alienated Watson, who clearly wants to help his team avoid whatever toxic path this is. Adam Schefter noted that Watson has seen enough and he wasn’t the only one. 

Despite a wreckage in front of him and a lack of support at just about every skill position, Watson managed to complete over 70% of his passes for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns and 7 picks. How? I don’t know. The 25-year-old clearly emerged as an elite talent on an absolute mess of a team and if he doesn’t get out quickly, his prime years will be wasted away.

An Eagles and Texans trade?

This is where things get difficult. On paper, the Eagles should be able to lure the Texans into a deal, knowing that the team lack both a first and second-round pick due to genuine incompetence. However, the Texans are also $17.5M over the cap and are projected to have the lowest cap space of any team in 2022 at $43.7M. They could shave some money along the way, just like the Eagles, but unless there is a significant restructure that Wentz would be willing to negotiate upon arrival, this will be tricky for both parties.

What hurts the Eagles here is the fact that about 75% of all NFL teams should be picking up the phone to at least inquire. The price will be steep and while Wentz would provide the Texans with a quarterback who does have that same upside, what we saw in 2020 was so far removed from the Wentz that we’ve come to know and love, that convincing Houston that he is better-suited to be ‘their guy’ than Deshaun Watson seems almost impossible. A high price would only be driven higher because of this.

And even worse is that if the Eagles traded their 6th overall pick to the Texans, they’d be staring a potential rookie QB in the face, or at least be in a position to trade up for someone like Justin Fields.

Trading Carson Wentz and acquiring Watson would also be the perfect way to hit copy and paste on last offseason’s idiocy that involved drafting a QB in the second round and instilling a real lack of trust in your starter. Jalen Hurts likely wouldn’t take kindly to the news and the carousel would simply keep on spinning.

The perfect middle ground

What may make more sense then, would be for the Eagles to explore a pair of trades. Shipping Carson Wentz off to somewhere like Indianapolis who have a metric ton of cap space would mean they’re not having to spend significantly to drive up his value. A second trade involving a flurry of picks and a couple of players (1st, 2nd, 5th, Derek Barnett, Malik Jackson) in exchange for Watson would then put the icing on the cake.

Indy gets their QB, the Eagles get their QB, and Houston gets to ruin yet another opportunity at finding theirs.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire