Jalen Hurts has been enjoying a drama-free training camp on the field. He’s making all the right reads in 11-on-11 drills, plus the quarterback’s teammates can’t find enough adjectives for his steady leadership.
So why do his bosses seem so intent on trading for his replacement? The latest buzz has talks heating up between the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans in what would be last-minute blockbuster for Deshaun Watson. According to CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso, a deal seems more imminent than ever as the two sides look to clear some hurdles and “attempt to come to an agreement.” Compensation for the three-time Pro Bowler wasn’t noted.
UPDATE: Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle noted that “no trade is imminent or developing at this time.” Sticking points include Watson’s legal troubles and no-trade clause.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman knows the rumors are out there and tried to downplay them on the first day of training camp. Hurts has done everything to “take the reins,” per Roseman, but nothing is guaranteed.
“I think our job is to always evaluate every option at every position. ,” Roseman said on July 28. “We’re watching tape on guys, we’re looking at guys and we’re making sure that we’re ready, one in case of injury, and also for any position that trades become available, being ready for that. I’m obviously not going to talk about anyone who is property of another team.”
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Watson Misses Practice, Possibly Injured
Watson reported on time to Texans’ camp despite rampant rumors about his unhappiness with the organization. He didn’t want to be a distraction on or off the field. However, the dual-threat quarterback has gone missing over the past two days and everyone wants to know why.
Maybe a trade is indeed being finalized. Or, is he hurt?
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Watson is dealing with lingering calf and ankle tightness. The injury is not considered long-term and his status is day-to-day. So there’s a new wrinkle in the whole Watson saga.
Despite not physically practicing, Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly told reporters that Watson has been a valuable asset in team meetings and continues to stay engaged.
“He’s (Watson) been a great asset for us in the room with some of the stuff how he sees it, how he sees the intent of the plays,” Kelly said, via Texans Daily. “It’s been great. He’s been very helpful to those players.”
And none of this is even taking into account Watson’s tumultuous legal situation. He faces 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints from women alleging sexual misconduct, meaning he could end up on the Commissioner Exempt List and face suspension.
Eagles Have Assets to Pull Off Trade
The Eagles were hoping to have three potential first-rounders to ship off for Watson, but one of those took a hit when Carson Wentz elected to undergo foot surgery.
Philly needs him to play 75-percent of the regular-season snaps for the Indianapolis Colts (or 70-percent and a playoff berth) for a second-rounder to bump up to a first-rounder. Wentz’s injury situation remains in flux, with a broad return timetable of five to 12 weeks.
“One of the things that I always found kind of funny is whenever there’s a name being dangled about, the Eagles are kind of associated with that,” Roseman told reporters last week. “I understand, because we have more high draft picks going forward. That’s probably going to be continual as players become available.”
Want more intrigue? Roseman had an on-field meeting on Tuesday with team owner Jeffrey Lurie and head coach Nick Sirianni, per Bleeding Green Nation, and the Eagles just cleared $14 million in cap space. They could now afford Watson’s $10.5 million base salary.