Eagles Should Steer Clear of Deshaun Watson

Once a passenger on the Watson-to-Philly train, I am debarking in light of a two-month report by Sports Illustrated, though could be talked back on the express once again
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It’s exciting to think about: Deshaun Watson an Eagle.

Adam Schefter raised that level of excitement on Wednesday morning when he went on a local sports radio program, 97.5 The Fanatic, and announced: The Eagles are more equipped to make a run at Deshaun Watson than any other team out there. And if you put Deshaun Watson on the Philadelphia Eagles, they become a Super Bowl contender right away.”

Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum double-downed during a Thursday morning visit on Mike Greenberg’s show saying that it is an “open secret” that the Eagles are a likely destination of and when the legal problems are cleared up.

Tannebaum also mentioned Carolina and Miami as potential other suitors for Watson’s services.

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Everybody on board the Watson train to Philly?

I was a passenger once, maybe even as recently as earlier this week.

Then I read an excellent in-depth report by the SI power trio of Jenny Vrentas, Greg Bishop, and Gary Gramling. I excused myself from the train after reading.

Not saying I can’t change my mind again, but Watson, should he reach a settlement in each of the 22 civil cases brought against him for sexual misconduct, he still must prove to me that he is not the predator he appears to be in the SI story.

How he does that, well, that’s up to him and his representation.

You can draw your own conclusions by finding the story inside this MMQB article:

I was all for the Eagles giving Mike Vick a second chance, but that was because Vick had paid his dues for operating a dogfighting ring, serving 21 months in federal prison at the United States Penitentiary Leavenworth.

Watson’s settlement may cost him money and that is all, so he must do more to ingratiate himself to me and, I would assume, a portion of the fan base, which wouldn’t be too pleased with him coming to Philadelphia.

It’s easy to connect the dots with the Eagles and Watson.

First, there’s the draft capital. Three first-round picks are what they should have after Carson Wentz meets the requisite playtime requirements in Indianapolis.

Second, there’s the expectation that the Eagles, after shedding Wentz’s dead money hit on the salary cap of $33.8 million will be able to take on Watson’s $25M salary in 2022.

Third, the Eagles still want to be a quarterback factory.

Fourth, the Eagles are the land of second chances, with Vick the poster boy for them as well as DeSean Jackson, who owner Jeffrey Lurie gave another chance to after Jackson made headlines last summer for his anti-Semitic remarks.

John McMullen on Eagles pursuit of Deshaun Watson

SI.com Eagle Maven John McMullen on Deshaun Watson

Other teams will be in play for Watson once the legal troubles somehow go away and he likely has served a suspension of anywhere from six games to maybe a full season from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

There is no denying the talent Watson brings.

He will turn 26 in September, led the league in passing with 4,823 yards last year, and already has thrown for more than 100 touchdowns in his first four seasons.

Watson, like Vick, deserves a second chance, but it shouldn’t be in Philadelphia. Not unless he finds a way to make things right in the public eye to show he is contrite.

It’s what Vick did, a lot of it behind the scenes, and continues to do without the spotlight shining on him.

If the Eagles aren’t sold on the Jalen Hurts Experiment, then that draft capital could be used in selecting a quarterback with their first pick in the first round, which, if Hurts doesn’t succeed, or there are breakdowns elsewhere, the pick will be in the top 10. It could even be in the top five if every disaster scenario comes to fruition.

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They might even be able to move all the way up to No. 1 if a team like the Jaguars or Jets or some other team that took a QB in the first round this past spring are sitting with the first overall pick and don’t need another QB and willing to trade down a few spots.

The Eagles would then have their pick of the cream of the crop.

So, it would be wise to pay attention to Saturdays in the fall to see which QB vaults into the top three or four.

There are plenty of candidates already on the watch-list, led by Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Liberty’s Malik Willis, Miami’s D’Eriq King, and others.

This is the way the Eagles should go – for now.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.