The Eagles are still confident in Quez Watkins after a rough season in 2022

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Quez watkins eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) runs for a touchdown during the preseason game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 12, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The future of Eagles’ slot receiver Quez Watkins has been a hot-button topic this off-season. There have been calls to trade him and upgrade the position, including a few fiery tweets from the fourth-year man out of Southern Miss that have raised eyebrows.

Watkins has since set his social media account to private. The Eagles’ decision to sign Olamide Zaccheaus apparently rubbed him the wrong way. Those two receivers are trending toward an all-out competition for the starting slot job at training camp.

In the meantime, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and general manager Howie Roseman used their recent pre-draft media availability to address the situation. Neither one has lost confidence in Watkins, referring to the Zaccheaus move as a depth signing. He adds another playmaker to the room following the loss of Zach Pascal in free agency.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball against Washington Commanders safety Bobby McCain (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

“We have a lot of confidence in Quez, and I know he’s going to come back,” Sirianni told reporters on April 20. “I know he’s hungry. He’s determined. He feels like he didn’t have his best season … But Quez is our No. 3 receiver. There will be competition for it just like there was when Zach [Pascal] was here for different roles within that. But we’re excited about Quez. I’m really excited with our new addition [Olamide Zaccheaus].”

Roseman quickly chimed in and doubled down on Sirianni’s support for Watkins. Interestingly, the Eagles seem interested in moving Watkins from the slot to the outside. The Eagles want interchangeable parts at every receiver spot and Watkins — remember, he ran the 40 in 4.35 seconds — has drool-worthy potential steaking down the sideline on go routes.

Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Howie Roseman, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce celebrate after the NFC Championship NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Philadelphia. Roseman, the once-exiled executive who was cast aside for Chip Kelly for a year, returned to lead the Eagles to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title is back again after hitting rock bottom in 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“Nobody is down on Quez Watkins in this building,” Roseman said. “We’re excited about him and the skill set that he has. I’m not saying this to be combative in any way, but at the end of the day he’s also played outside. A lot of the guys that we have, and you’ve talked about this with our staff when we’re talking about it, guys can multi-align. Guys can play inside and out. I think that’s one of the benefits of the group that we have.”

Eagles WR Quez Watkins Tweeted: ‘I’m Gone Make Y’All Eat Every F****** Word!’

Watkins left little to the imagination in the viral tweet he fired off following the Eagles signing of Olamide Zaccheaus. He was heated and directed his anger at everyone doubting him in a major way. He wrote: “I’m gone make y’all eat every f****** word!” then let the fiery words simmer in cyberspace.

It’s hard to hate his passion. No one wants to see their job security threatened, especially not in a public manner. Watkins was dealing with a Grade 2 left shoulder sprain for half of the 2022 season. He didn’t disclose the injury until after Super Bowl LVII, telling reporters that it eroded his confidence and made him tentative on contested catches. He finished with 33 receptions for 354 yards and 3 touchdowns during the regular season.

“It kind of like deteriorated my confidence. I wasn’t able to play at my best ability,” Watkins said of the injury. “For me, I didn’t play my brand of football all year. Mental, honestly, that’s all it is. You just gotta play through all circumstances on and off the field. I should have just played ball instead of worrying about it.”

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire