PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Eagles have been linked to Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson for months. Most recently, earlier this week, NBC Sports’ Peter King wrote that the Eagles are likely to be “in play” for the disgruntled star quarterback.
This comes after ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Mike Tannenbaum both mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the Eagles are a landing spot for Watson, including Tannenbaum saying the team’s interest is an “open secret” around the NFL.
— Mike Tannenbaum (@RealTannenbaum) July 15, 2021
The Texans have reportedly finally opened up trade talks for Watson, but the Eagles shouldn’t entertain any deal that includes him suiting up in midnight green. Acquiring Watson, who’s currently being investigated by the NFL and authorities with 22 active civil lawsuits filed against him for sexual assault and inappropriate sexual misconduct, would be a new low for the Eagles franchise.
The 22 women — all massage therapists 一 claim Watson sexually assaulted them or engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior during massage sessions. The allegations stretch back from 2020 and early 2021, and the details in the lawsuits are alarming.
Some of those details allege Watson inappropriately touched women with his penis during therapy sessions, ejaculated in front of them, and forced them to perform oral sex.
In March, Sports Illustrated ran a story that detailed one massage therapist’s experience with Watson in 2019. She isn’t one of the 22 women to file a lawsuit against Watson, but she told SI that “he did engage in behavior that was both inappropriate and unlike any other interaction she’s had with any of her more than 1,000 clients — including other professional athletes — in her several years working as a massage therapist.”
“The one thing I keep thinking about is, he’s about to get traded to another place,” Mary, the woman who hosted Watson for a session in 2019, told SI. “What if he goes to Atlanta or California or anywhere else? He would have a whole new community of massage therapists to target.”
Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, has maintained his client’s innocence, but the alleged actions by Watson frame him as a serial predator with no signs of changing his behavior in the near future.
Many have likened the Watson situation to when Jeffrey Lurie and Andy Reid gave Michael Vick a second chance in 2009. It’s true that Lurie has shown in the past that he’s willing to give players second chances, but signing Vick then is much different than trading for Watson now.
Vick had just finished his prison sentence for dogfighting when he signed with the Eagles. He also looked at himself in the mirror, realized his flaws, and worked to become a better human being as he reentered society.
Watson is currently under investigation and the end is not in sight. He showed up to training camp this week and is practicing, but he could end up suspended, on the commissioner’s exempt list in the future, or possibly face jail time.
While the Eagles are the best-equipped team in the NFL to trade for Watson, they also shouldn’t because it could be a complete waste of assets.
Instead, the Eagles should give quarterback Jalen Hurts a legitimate chance this season.
“I’m above it all,” Hurts told reporters. “Control what I can. I’m here. That’s what I’m doing. Go out there and be the quarterback for this team.”
Hurts becoming the franchise quarterback is the Eagles’ best-case scenario. If that’s the case, then they can use potentially three first-round picks in 2022 and free agency to surround him with talent.
If Hurts doesn’t work this season, then so be it.
The Eagles would still be in a good position to rebuild and find a franchise quarterback if that’s the case. They could select one in the 2022 NFL draft, or even trade for a disgruntled star quarterback like Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers with their assets. It’s unlikely Green Bay would trade him in the NFC, but regardless, the Eagles will have ways to acquire an elite signal-caller.
Speaking of elite quarterbacks, Watson is without a doubt one of the top five players at the position in the league.
Eagles fans would love to fill Lincoln Financial Field on Sundays and watch Watson throw bombs to DeVonta Smith, but the allegations currently make him untouchable.
A Watson trade would be a slap in the face to sexual abuse survivors everywhere, his accusers, and an all-time low for the franchise.