Would a Deshaun Watson trade even make sense for the Eagles?

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)

It wouldn’t be the start of a new league year without some silly season antics. When it comes to the Eagles and unsubstantiated trade rumors, there’s only one man for the job – Jason La Canfora. His most recent look into the crystal ball placed the Eagles as ‘strong suitors’ for Deshaun Watson.

Do not discount the Philadelphia Eagles as a strong suitor for Deshaun Watson. Too many sources with ties to ownership have whispered that sentiment my way for me to ignore.

It is indisputable that the Eagles are monitoring the Watson situation closely and evaluating it. No one in that organization would deny that.

“I hear that it is very much at the ownership level,” as one league source put it.
“No action for the Eagles,” one GM said. “It has to be killing them.”
Another GM said: “Would Howie trading for Watson surprise me? No. Now that you mention it.”

La Canfora isn’t wrong in the basic logic he’s presenting, it does miss some very important counterpoints that need to be addressed.

Why would the Eagles hit copy and paste?

Before we even get to the salary cap and all of the fun stuff, there’s one person pivotal to this move – Jalen Hurts. The Eagles traded Carson Wentz to the Colts after one of the most bizarre years in recent memory. Howie Roseman very much facilitated the downfall of their franchise QB and drafting Jalen Hurts played a fairly big role in knocking the wind out of his sails mentally.

Acquiring Watson would also be the perfect way to hit copy and paste on last offseason’s idiocy and would make very little sense unless the Eagles want their QB factory to become a conveyor belt stuck on turbo.

Only adding to this is the recent report that suggests Jeffrey Lurie is very much against the idea of bringing in competition for Jalen Hurts and is all-in on last year’s second-round selection. La Canfora’s sources seem to denote a very different opinion, making it somewhat difficult to believe.

Let’s use logic

Deshaun Watson is easily among the league’s best quarterbacks. 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. The question now is are the Eagles really the team to get the most out of him?

The short answer is no.

The Eagles have spent the last month or so battling incredibly hard to get under the cap. After just about managing to do it by the start of the new league year, something tells me that taking on a $15M cap hit isn’t the smartest move, especially when that number shoots to $40M next year. For context, the Eagles are projected to have the third lead amount of cap space of any NFL team next season and still have to think about potential new deals for Dallas Goedert (entering his contract year) and Miles Sanders.

In terms of a rebuilding process, shipping Wentz away to take on a contract that’s just as damaging makes little sense. Watson may be the superior quarterback, but the Eagles selected Jalen hurts just one year ago and as a result have three very cheap rookie years to utilize while they solidify the rest of the franchise.

If the Eagles traded their 6th overall pick to the Texans, there’s a 99.9% chance that they would be eyeing a potential QB. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t the Eagles just select one knowing that they have five years of cheap QB play to develop before having to make the expensive decision?

In conclusion, this move makes a ton of sense for the Philadelphia Eagles…if your name is Jason La Canfora.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire