All it took was a couple of bad games from Jalen Hurts, and here we go again.
Following an offseason that included more than a few rumors linking the Eagles to Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, it seemed like we had reached a conclusion during training camp, with reports suggesting that it was Watson — and not the Eagles — who had put an end to any chance of a trade. Watson, who is currently facing close to two dozen accusations of sexual assault and has not yet played payed for the Texans (and probably never will again), reportedly wasn’t willing to waive his no-trade clause for a deal to the Eagles, who are one of the few teams in the NFL with the capital it would take to acquire Watson.
But, as FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported prior to Sunday’s Week 3 slate of games, Houston has “softened” its asking price. He also said that the Dolphins, who were already in the mix before Tua Tagovailoa went down with an injury, remain the team to watch. He doubled down on that reporting on Wednesday night.
So, what does this all have to do with the Eagles, considering they weren’t mentioned in Glazer’s report and it’s already been established that Watson doesn’t want to come to Philly? For starters, the fact that the Texans are reportedly lowering their asking price means that they may not have as many suitors as once believed.
And that could mean that Watson, faced with the potential of either staying in Houston or accepting a trade to the Eagles, is more likely to choose the latter. A lower asking price could also make Howie Roseman and the Eagles more interested in taking a chance on Watson, given that there’s been no indication from the league on how they plan to handle his status going forward as the 22 lawsuits — and any possible related criminal charges — against him move forward.
Then there’s this “report” from Chris Simms, speaking on Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio. We put the word report in quotes for a reason. Here’s the exchange, courtesy of Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation.
FLORIO: I’m going Deshaun Watson. Do they get back in to Deshaun Watson? When you consider Jay Glazer reported earlier on the weekend the Texans have softened their stance in recent days on what they want for Watson, that the Dolphins have Tua Tagovailoa on IR […], I think they have to be considering making the move before the window closes on November 2. From the Eagles’ standpoint, aware of the possibility the Dolphins are going to go a deadline deal, and cognizant of what Hurts is and isn’t doing, maybe at some weird level this is an organizational effort to kind of put the Hurts ceiling/floor analysis in an accelerator. So we know by the end of the October what we have. Instead of knowing by the end of December and into January what we have, let’s go ahead and see where he is. Let’s throw stuff at him, let’s see how he responds so we can make an assessment by November 2. And if we decide to pull the trigger, boom, we go get Deshaun Watson. You have to at least be thinking about that. Right?
SIMMS: Sure. Yeah. I’m with you.
FLORIO: You don’t know where his ceiling is.
FLORIO: You’re kind of seeing where the floor is. But you want to hit pedal to the metal so you have the best information by late October so you can make a decision on whether to make a play for Watson now or later knowing that you don’t that the Dolphins may and then it’s done.
SIMMS: Yeah, I think it’s a good thought by you. I think there’s some reality to that, for sure. I do. And you and I both know that Philadelphia is in that mix for the Deshaun Watson thing. That’s a real thing. From everything I know, the owner has given them the green light as far as Howie Roseman and company to make that deal if it’s right. So, yes, you have to worry a little — and here’s just one other inkling. Another inkling told me they’re not sold on Jalen Hurts. […]
FLORIO: […] The other thing to keep in mind is that no-trade clause, because Watson wants Miami. And there have been some conflicting reports on whether or not he has said no to Philadelphia. I think that if Philadelphia is the only option, he’ll say yes. But we’ll see. [h/t Bleeding Green Nation]
Like we said at the top of the story, here we go again.
In this instance, however, it’s worth noting that while Simms certainly has connections around the league, he’s not exactly Adam Schefter. And it’s his phrasing here that’s really the dead giveaway. “From everything I know” is not the same as “sources say” or even really anything close to that. That’s exactly how someone would phrase it if they’re simply basing it off second-hand sourcing and allowing previous history to inform their current situation.
What do we mean? Well, the Eagles have reportedly been in on Watson since the start, with Roseman reportedly doing significant due diligence behind the scenes as they try to navigate Watson’s future. We also know that Jeffrey Lurie puts a premium on the QB position and has a bit of an obsession with the passing game. We also know that he’s not afraid to bring in controversial players at the game’s most important position. Combine those factors with the Eagles reported interest, and it’s not a far leap to suggest that Lurie has given Roseman the proverbial green light.
Here’s what John McMullen wrote right here on PhillyVoice over two months ago, shortly before training camp and that report that Watson didn’t want to come to Philly…
A former Eagles’ personnel executive claimed that Christina Weiss-Lurie would probably put a stop to the thought and some fellow reporters contacted me to clutch their pearls over the Eagles coming out on the wrong side of that talent vs. tolerance equation.
And maybe that’s true, but what we do know about Jeffrey Lurie is that he has been consistent when it comes to off-the-field issues. Placing Watson on a personal blacklist after he’s cleared to return to the league would actually be the hypocritical move for the Eagles’ owner. …
You either believe in second chances or you don’t.
Making a run at Watson isn’t about Roseman, Nick Sirianni’s offense, or Jalen Hurts’ development, it’s about the owner deciding if he wants the superstar with the Q-rating stained by scandal.
The names Riley Cooper, Michael Vick, and DeSean Jackson should tell you Lurie has already staked his position. [MORE]
So why is this a surprise to anyone, especially with Jalen Hurts struggling and Sirianni’s offense looking stagnant in recent weeks?
On a related note, there’s that other “inkling” that told Simms that the Birds are not all in on Hurts. However, it’s pretty obvious from everything that’s been reported about the Eagles all offseason that they’re not “sold” on the second-year QB. It’s part of the reason why they’ve been linked to Watson in the first place. I don’t have any sources telling me this info, but even I can piece together the publicly available reports and connect the dots on that one.
To be clear, I’m not accusing Simms of making anything up. Rather, it seems like his informed opinion (which isn’t really telling us much new) is being mistaken for some sort of breaking news scoop. The Eagles have always been in on Watson according to every report that’s been put it. The only reason the rumors died down is because Watson reportedly didn’t want to come to Philly.
That part of things may change — and, sure, the Eagles may be waiting to pounce if it does — but for now Watson will still need to agree to a trade to Philly. And for the sake of all our sanity, let’s hope he doesn’t.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports