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3 Deshaun Watson trade scenarios for the Philadelphia Eagles to consider

The Philadelphia Eagles have been linked to Deshaun Watson for months, but the Houston Texans star is in the midst of a nightmarish off-field scandal.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter spoke out Wednesday about Watson being connected to the Eagles, though, in a radio interview with 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia:

“The Eagles are more equipped to make a run at Deshaun Watson than any other team out there. […] I’m operating under the assumption this will be settled. And when he is deemed able to play, the Philadelphia Eagles will be waiting. […] But the Texans won’t sell him at 25%. They’re going to wait to get full value.”

Note: Quote edited for typographical errors and clarity

With the obvious caveat that this isn’t meant in poor taste to belittle or minimize the seriousness around Watson’s sexual misconduct allegations, here are three trade scenarios Philadelphia might consider to ultimately acquire the embattled signal-caller.

And let’s further state, even if it’s self-explanatory at this point: A trade isn’t happening until it’s determined Watson is either exonerated, or is appropriately punished for any lewd conduct he may have engaged in. Even then, it might be too problematic.

Get it? Got it? Good.

What should the Houston Texans do with Deshaun Watson?

Philadelphia Eagles give up Jalen Hurts, Fletcher Cox in Deshaun Watson trade package

Philadelphia Eagles give up Jalen Hurts, Fletcher Cox in Deshaun Watson trade package
Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (91) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Texans get: QB Jalen Hurts, DL Fletcher Cox, two 2021 first-round picks
  • Eagles get: QB Deshaun Watson

Trading away the face of your defense is never fun, but if the Eagles want the reigning NFL passing champion, they’ll need to get serious about parting with at least one key veteran like Fletcher Cox.

Houston might have the worst roster in football, and while that should lend itself to plenty of premium draft capital in the next couple years, it’s key to help turn the culture around with high-character players like Cox.

This is something Cox would definitely not want to happen, but you can bet he’s the type of consummate pro who’d embrace the challenge.

As for Hurts, he’s as accustomed to getting cast aside and doubted as any young QB in recent memory. From his time at Alabama being benched for Tua Tagovailoa, to following Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray at Oklahoma, and then enduring the Carson Wentz drama as an NFL rookie.

The Texans would suddenly have a pretty interesting QB room if they acquired Hurts to compete alongside Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills. In all likelihood, though, they’d still be in the market to take a passer near the top of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Related: NFL Power Rankings – Packers back in the top 10 heading into Week 3

Houston Texans pick up huge haul of all draft picks for Deshaun Watson

Houston Texans pick up huge haul of all draft picks for Deshaun Watson
Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; A view of the stage before the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Texans get: Three 2021 1st-round picks, 2022 2nd-round pick, 2023 conditional 4th-round pick
  • Eagles get: QB Deshaun Watson

If there’s any team in position to take a risk on Watson, it’s the Eagles. They have a whopping three first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft to play with. Dangling all of those in front of Houston, along with a couple more assets, is more than enough to entice the Texans to bite on a trade.

Many of Houston’s acquisitions this offseason by new general manager Nick Caserio are of the stopgap veteran variety. It’s not a sustainable team. Imagine rolling into the 2022 draft with four first-rounders. That’s the type of offer Philadelphia could make.

Now, would the Eagles actually do this? It can’t be said enough: Everything boils down to how Watson’s civil lawsuits unfold.

Philadelphia Eagles alleviate salary cap troubles in post-June 1 Deshaun Watson trade

Philadelphia Eagles alleviate salary cap troubles in post-June 1 Deshaun Watson trade
Nov 1, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) reacts after a fumble recovery against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
  • Texans get: OT Lane Johnson, DT Javon Hargrave, EDGE Brandon Graham, 2021 1st-round pick, 2023 1st-round pick
  • Eagles get: QB Deshaun Watson

Even with their starting QB Hurts on a cheap rookie contract, Philadelphia is in absolutely dire salary cap straits for the next several years.

Taking on Watson’s cap hit after June 1, 2022, would mean $35 million on the Eagles’ books for the year. However, if they can offload some of their more cumbersome contracts onto the Texans, they should jump on the opportunity to do that.

Bringing in multiple seasoned pros to help mentor Houston’s younger players should help the franchise’s rebuilding efforts.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia can simply restructure Watson’s contract once he’s traded and open up so much more flexibility for building the roster around him.

The Eagles are still deep enough in the defensive trenches to get rid of Hargrave and Graham, even though it’ll hurt them some. Parting with Johnson sweetens Philly’s offer for Watson, as do two more first-round picks. The Iggles still have two first-rounders to play with in 2022 to offset some of their losses in this scenario.

This is all operating under Schefter’s assumption that Houston will get the full value for Watson as when he requested a trade early in the offseason. We’ll see if that comes to pass.