Before the deal was completed, several other teams were in communication with the Houston Texans regarding their former star quarterback. Some of those organizations reportedly included the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons.
Apparently, the Philadelphia Eagles also remained interested in Watson despite publicly committing to Jalen Hurts as their starter.
“Beyond the Browns, Saints, Panthers, and Falcons, the Philadelphia Eagles remained interested throughout the process, according to league sources, even after committing publicly to Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback,” wrote Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.
Nothing materialized between the two parties. Watson reportedly “wasn’t inclined” to waive his no-trade clause for the Eagles, as he apparently wouldn’t have wanted to take away Hurts’ starting job.
“Yet, Watson wasn’t inclined to waive his no-trade clause for the Eagles and nothing ever developed,” Wilson continued. “One league source noted that Watson is friends with Hurts and wouldn’t have wanted to take away his starting job by supplanting him.”
Watson did not play in the 2021 season after being accused by many of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct. However, earlier this month, a grand jury declined to indict the 26-year-old on criminal charges.
Due to his no-trade clause, Watson had the right to choose which team he would be dealt to, which turned out to be the Browns.
As for Philadelphia, it will move forward with Hurts as its starting quarterback.
The Eagles drafted the former University of Alabama standout in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He began the 2020 campaign on the bench before starting the final four games of the season.
Hurts started for Philadelphia for nearly the entire 2021 season. He recorded 15 starts, winning eight of them, and completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 3,144 yards and 16 touchdowns.