Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins is heading into a pivotal training camp, but his inconsistent play is prompting speculation that the franchise could explore a trade for the wideout. CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin cited Watkins’ “iffy hands” as a potential reason the Eagles could seek a trade for the wideout and labeled the Chargers among the top landing spots for the playmaker.
“After a solid 2021 season in his first year under Nick Sirianni (43 catches, 647 yards), Watkins’ speed didn’t match his production as the No. 3 behind A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith during the Eagles’ Super Bowl bid,” Benjamin wrote on May 16, 2023. “His iffy hands could convince hyperactive GM Howie Roseman to offload him ahead of a contract year, saving an immediate $2.7M.”
The Chargers are looking for depth at wide receiver but addressed the position in the draft by selecting a pair of TCU receivers in Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis. Would the Chargers be willing to give up a future late-round pick for Watkins?
It is difficult to imagine Watkins has trade value given his inconsistent play, and the Eagles may be hard-pressed to find a partner. Benjamin labeled the Colts, Falcons and Titans as additional teams who could have an interest in adding Watkins.
Eagles Rumors: Philadelphia Could Save More Than $2 Million By Releasing Quez Watkins
All signs point to Watkins playing out the final season of his four-year, $3.4 million contract. Watkins is slated to have a $2.7 million salary in 2023, but Philadelphia would only take a $42,416 dead cap hit if the team opted to release the receiver.
The addition of Olamide Zaccheaus this offseason puts Watkins’ long-term future with the Eagles in doubt. Watkins’ production regressed in 2022 posting 33 receptions for 354 yards and three touchdowns in 17 appearances. Yet, the wideout is just one year removed from notching 43 catches for 647 yards and one touchdown.
Eagles News: Philly Continues to Publicly Back Quez Watkins Despite Cut Chatter
Despite his struggles in 2022, the Eagles (at least publicly) continue to back Watkins as the veteran heads into a contract year. Head coach Nick Sirriani believes that Watkins’ presence opened up opportunities for A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, even if his statistics were down last season.
“So, I think what he was probably frustrated with is that he didn’t make the amount of plays that he made last year,” Sirianni told reporters on March 28. “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 AJ. You throw it to Dallas [Goedert]. You throw it to DeVonta [Smith]. That’s not an indication that we don’t trust Quez. It’s just an indication that our pass game runs through those three guys.
“And so, I know Quez wanted to make some of the plays that he felt like he didn’t. I think also what he’s saying there is he’s taking ownership and accountability of him getting better, not looking at anybody else and that’s what you want from your team. Everybody to look in the mirror and say, ‘How do I get better? How do I help this team win that last game?'”