The NFL’s strict anti-tampering policy precludes general managers from commenting on players rostered elsewhere. So perish the thought of the Philadelphia Eagles coming right out and expressing a desire to trade for Deshaun Watson. The organization doesn’t want to pay that hefty fine.
However, Howie Roseman was asked about the Houston Texans quarterback after the Eagles’ first training camp practice on Wednesday and navigated the question as best he could. And the savvy front-executive executive used the opportunity to heap kudos on the Eagles’ presumed starter, Jalen Hurts. The second-year quarterback spent the morning running with the first-team offense in South Philly.
“He’s done everything possible off the field and during the spring practices to take the reins,” Roseman told reporters, “and we want to see him do that. I think this is a big year for any player who goes from Year 1 to Year 2 and so we’re excited to see that, and to see his growth in working with the ones. And hopefully that happens.”
But Watson is the elephant in the locker room, stampeding around Texas like a 6-foot-2, 220-pound insurance policy should Hurts fail in his tryout. The Eagles have three potential first-round picks to offer for him and speculation grows with each passing day.
“I think that one of the things that I’ve always found kind of funny is that whenever there’s a name bandied about the Eagles are kind of associated with that,” Roseman said. “And I understand [it] because we have more draft picks, high draft picks moving forward, that’s probably going to be continual as players become available. But we draft these guys for a reason, we’re excited about the development of them, and excited to start practice here.”
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No Timeline for Naming Eagles Starter
The idea that Hurts won’t be under center in Week 1 is a ridiculous notion. The former Heisman Trophy runner-up will be the starter – barring a last-minute trade for Watson – but the Eagles are sticking to the mantra that every player is fighting for their job this summer.
So Hurts must fend off charges from veterans Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens, according to head coach Nick Sirianni. He has no timeline for when he might officially name the starter, although it must happen prior to Sept. 12.
“We got to be ready by Atlanta [on Sept. 12] to have all the ones and all the twos named,” Sirianni told reporters. “So nothing in mind as far as when we have to make decisions. They’ll play out as we go, right, with these practices. Like it’s just great to get out there and practice and we’ll go in there and make the corrections, and praise the things that went well, and set the standard so they can see it.”
Sirianni went on to say the 31 other teams in the league would be “thrilled” to be in the Eagles’ situation. They have a former Super Bowl MVP (Flacco) on the roster, plus a guy (Mullens) who has the second-most passing yards through his first 16 starts. Iron sharpens iron.
“So, again, it’ll play out. Just really excited to work with Jalen and Joe and Nick,” Sirianni said. “I think a lot of teams in this league would be thrilled to have that quarterback room that we have, with the veteran leadership we have and then the playing experience that the guys have, so no timetable, just real excited to work with the guys.”
Eagles Make Roster Moves on Day 1
The first day of camp started with a few roster moves, including three players hitting the Reserve/COVID-19 list: safety Andrew Adams, defensive end Matt Leo, linebacker Alex Singleton. That doesn’t mean they tested positive as they could have been in close contact with someone who did. Either way, all three guys missed practice and must quarantine.
Vaccinations have been a point of emphasis for the NFL and some players have flat-out refused to get their shots. The Eagles appear ready to abide by the rules and “more than 90-percent” of the roster is vaccinated, per Roseman.