Eagles Starter Sends Blunt Message After Surprise Signing

Quez Watkins and Jalen Hurts

Getty Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and WR Quez Watkins chat during a 2021 game against Washington.

One day after it was reported the Philadelphia Eagles were signing Olamide Zaccheaus, the guy whose job he could be coming for fired off a combative message. Quez Watkins has been listening to every word being said about him this offseason, paying extra close attention to those saying the Eagles are in need of an upgrade at slot receiver.

The 24-year-old is rehabbing from a left shoulder sprain and, once he gets back to 100% health, he’s determined to make “y’all eat every f****** word!” That was Watkins’ NSFW promise to his nay-sayers on Twitter.

Maybe Zacchaeus comes into training camp and beats Watkins out for the job. Or maybe he doesn’t. Either way, the fourth-year receiver out of Southern Miss doesn’t appear ready to go gently into that good night. Watkins is coming off a disappointing 2022 season where he made 33 receptions for 354 yards and 3 touchdowns. He admitted it was a struggle at times after suffering a Grade 2 shoulder sprain midway through the year.

“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.”

Nick Sirianni Expresses Confidence in Watkins

Head coach Nick Sirianni has been in Watkins’ corner for two years running when he declared him the second-best receiver on the team at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign. That was prior to the Eagles trading for A.J. Brown. And coming off a year when Jalen Reagor was the second starter. Times have changed.

Still, Sirianni threw his support behind Watkins one month ago amid rumors that the Eagles might trade their starting slot receiver. The coaching staff trusts him to make plays, although there weren’t that many plays to make with so many talented mouths to feed on offense. Guys like DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, and Dallas Goedert are higher on the food chain.

“Quez did a lot of things that really affected the game that don’t show up in the stat sheet with how he stretches the field,” Sirianni said. “He did have some timely plays for us, but sometimes what happens is when there’s a play with everything on the line, you throw to A.J., you throw to Dallas, you throw to DeVonta. It’s not an indication that we don’t trust Quez, it’s just an indication that our pass game runs through those three guys.”

Eagles Set to Sign Olamide Zaccheaus

The Eagles have agreed to terms with receiver Olamide Zaccheaus, according to his sports agency. The 25-year-old put up career numbers in 2022 for the Atlanta Falcons: 40 catches for 533 yards and 3 touchdowns, with quarterbacks owning a 109.5 passer rating when throwing his way.

The team hasn’t officially announced the move or their plans on how to incorporate him into the offense. Logic dictates that Zaccheaus will compete for the starting slot job against Watkins at camp. He played 60.9% of his snaps in the slot last season.

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