The Philadelphia Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson on Monday. Despite guiding the franchise to a Super Bowl title in 2017, as well as playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019, his 4-11-1 mark in 2020 ultimately proved to be a death knell.
Over the weekend there was some chatter about Philly possibly trading Pederson to the New York Jets, but nothing materialized on that front.
So what’s next for the Eagles? The answer to that is a two-parter.
Obviously the organization needs a new head coach, but it also needs to make a decision one way or the other on its quarterback of the future. Carson Wentz was benched late in the year for rookie Jalen Hurts, but it’s unclear at this juncture whether the franchise really views Hurts as a long-term starter.
One possible alternative to both Wentz and Hurts? Deshaun Watson
Watson is currently very miffed with the Houston Texans over their decision to hire Nick Caserio as general manager without consulting him.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Watson views this as hugely offensive.
“Rumors already are circulating, and we’ve already heard from multiple different people, that Watson has quietly broached with teammates the possibility of requesting a trade,” he said.
Chris Mortenson of ESPN reported something similar over the weekend.
“Reports that Deshaun Watson is unhappy with the Texans are accurate,” Mortsenen said.
“After the team hired Nick Caserio as GM, it did not interview Chiefs (offensive coordinator) Eric Bieniemy as a head coach candidate, sources have confirmed. Watson has a new $156 million (contract), but … the franchise’s insensitivity on social injustice causes have been reinforced, and a source close to the quarterback says he very well could push for a trade.”
So how does Philly fit into all this? Well, the Eagles could offer a pretty tantalizing, money-saving offer to Houston.
A trade package consisting of Wentz and some combination of picks (Philly has the No. 6 overall, thanks to Pederson’s efforts) would likely be the best the Texans could hope for in any potential Watson swap.
LeBron decided to hook Ohio State up before the National Title Game. https://t.co/7Ulw7NeOJz
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 10, 2021
Houston has neither a first nor second round pick in this year’s draft, so any draft capital would probably be a very welcome surprise.
Beyond that, the Texans would benefit greatly financially from this move. They would essentially be reducing their money spent on the quarterback position in half, given that Wentz is owed just $47.4 million in guaranteed money for the next two seasons.
Although Wentz is also owed $25 million in 2023, that part of his deal isn’t guaranteed.
Chase Young came at the King and missed. Afterward, Tom Brady had a 2-word message for him. https://t.co/3WxDDt5c4z
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 10, 2021
The Eagles, meanwhile, would be taking on a pretty significant financial burden – but they’d be getting one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in return.
With the way everything is set up, Philly would essentially be committing $83 million to Watson going forward.
How does Swinney fit into all this?
O.J. has a simple question for America. https://t.co/w1ucZarCdF
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 9, 2021
Well, rumors have swirled for years that an NFL team-up between him and Watson was inevitable.
The pair won together at the collegiate level, and prior to his newfound love affair with Trevor Lawrence, Swinney was clearly fonder of Watson than any other player he had ever coached before or after him.
Many expected the two of them to team up on the Houston Texans, but Houston opted to go in a different direction.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
Swinney is fresh off losing Lawrence to the NFL and has consistently come up short in the National Championship race over the past couple of years. Although he is still one of college football’s most respected coaches, his star will never shine brighter than it did when he won the National Title in 2016 and 2018. The further he gets from those milestones, the more it dims.
With the Eagles now having a vacancy, Swinney has the opportunity to jump into a fantastic situation. If the Watson trade ends up going down, it’d be a perfect storm.
Obviously anything can happen and the Eagles getting one of Watson or Swinney, much less both, is not a guaranteed. But if the stars align, this could be a rare win-win for all parties involved.
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