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The Deeper Meanings of the Gardner Minshew Trade (from five different team’s perspective/the looming Deshaun Watson trade)… 

August 28, 2021

The Deeper Meanings of the Gardner Minshew Trade (from five different team’s perspective/the looming Deshaun Watson trade)… 


I would normally reserve a 2,000+ word rant here to talk about how dumb everyone is in the NFL. 30 teams for not trading cheap for Minshew is extraordinarily ignorant…and then there’s Jacksonville setting a whole new bar for being mismanaged.

A conditional 6th-round pick for Minshew is possibly the dumbest trade in the NFL in years, competing with the recent Joe Schubert trade…which means the Jacksonville Jaguars are collapsing from within, per usual. New regime, worse management of personnel. Get ready for a new contender for the dumbest trade in the NFL in 2021 when the Jags deal CJ Henderson. I’m just assuming they will do that since the Jags are killing themselves otherwise -- they might as well push the pedal all the way down on the car while sitting in the closed garage with the car windows down. 

No time for that Minshew mania banter here. Minshew is a minor character in a bigger play acting out in front of us…

The Minshew trade signals that we will likely hear of a Deshaun Watson trade any moment now. I think the fear of missing out on Watson is racing past the fear of how long Watson could be suspended for or fear of later finding out that he’s a secret serial killer, etc


There are five teams in this ‘play’ that are directly or urgently affected by this Minshew move. Let me introduce these characters in the play, and their character motivations…a play where the story’s crescendo will be Deshaun Watson being traded, I believe. It may happen before I can finish writing this.

Here are the five characters in this play and their motivations/the clues we now know (we think) in this murder mystery…trying to figure out ‘who dunnit’…who ultimately traded for Deshaun Watson:


Jacksonville = As already touched upon…incredibly dumb character in this play. With QB being the most important asset in the NFL, the Jags just gave a QB asset away for nothing, essentially. Why? Besides being poorly run, it’s worse than just bad evaluations of their asset values – this was a move they made to prop up Trevor Lawrence.

Jacksonville does not want there to be any competition or threat to Lawrence. Minshew probably was a team leader who was more beloved than Lawrence in that locker room by a mile…and you can’t have that if you're Urban Meyer. You can’t have a threat from within to the golden/bubble boy. So, Jacksonville slit its own throat to protect Lawrence – they will have to live with the consequences of building around Lawrence like he’s generational only to find he wasn’t. Even if he is, why trade a nice asset away for so little?

Jacksonville just got worse today. Bet them ‘under’ 6.5 wins for 2021. There is no insurance now if Lawrence gets hurt – and make no mistake, the Jags fear Lawrence gets a concussion or Covid and misses 1-2-3 games, and Minshew steps in and lights it up and ruins any of the Lawrence narrative. Can’t have winning getting in the way of what you want (see: Foles moved out after winning the Super Bowl because Carson Wentz IS the future…how’d that age?).


Philadelphia = Why did they trade for Gardner Minshew? Was it because they are so smart…taking advantage of the Jaguars? Ummm…have you met Howie Roseman and Jeff Lurie and their hiring of Nick Sirianni and their QB dealings since their Super Bowl win/gift from God/Foles? Really they’ve been butchering things since the hiring of Chip Kelly -- has anything Laurie/Roseman done made sense? Nick Foles saved all their asses. There’s a reason this team is in decline…anytime something works for a moment (Chip Kelly or Nick Foles) they move to exterminate it.

So, if it’s not ‘smart move by management’ to snatch Minshew – then what is it?

It’s two things:

1) Declining faith in Jalen Hurts. The Eagles are run/motivated by media perception, so they are turning on Jalen Hurts in a sense. This team looks so bad overall, the easy thing to do is blame the QB. Nick Sirianni has zero experience in spread offenses…he’s wanted anything but Hurts all along. Hurts is now dead in Philly with this Minshew move. But he will have new life in a moment.

2) The Eagles management suspects their 2021 team is terrible overall (they see them play every day this August), so why try to fight it? Why not fully tank instead of posting a 6-11 season? Why not make a trade for Deshaun Watson and push the bubble down the road – the Eagles fans will be over the moon with sucking now if they can sit around and wish upon a Deshaun Watson to arrive to save the day eventually.

This Minshew move was done to secure the deal for Watson any moment now. Minshew offers protection if Watson is suspended for a few games, or all season, or is carted to prison.


Two teams involved in this Watson chase right now that the Eagles are going to out-maneuver to get Deshaun…

1) Carolina = They are realizing that Sam Darnold is not the answer, and that if they could get Deshaun life would be so much better…but they don’t have the resources to make this deal that Philly does. Carolina is trying to get Watson cheap -- but are trying…and that’s putting pressure on Philly to pony up.

2) Miami = They have definitely realized they’re toast with Tua. If they could acquire Watson, it would let people forget about the whole Tua thing. The problem is – they want to include Tua as some key asset in a deal and Houston is not interested.

Philly’s sudden activity to prep for the Watson deal (trading for Minshew) is somewhat forced by Carolina and Miami pushing to make a deal.


Houston = Suddenly in the catbird seat. The NFL has not moved on a suspension or anything with Watson. The whole reason Watson is being kept off the field this August is to preserve his trade value…and that should be paying off any moment as they pit Carolina and Miami against Philly to do a deal with Philly.   

The Eagles have everything Houston wants in a trade for Watson. As I’ve said a few times – they want Jalen Hurts to be their QB. They WANT it. Philly wanted to give a few #1 picks for Watson, and hold Hurts as a Watson emergency plan. I think the Minshew deal tells us they know they have to deal Hurts in a package to get Watson.

My guess would be this deal for Watson will be: Hurts + one or two #1 picks in 2022 + trinkets (Dillard maybe)…and Houston can include players to Philly as well, trinket players. The core of a deal is #1 picks + Hurts for Watson.

Houston doesn’t want Darnold or Tua, it seems, so Carolina and Miami double screwed themselves with those players. I think Houston would take on Tua if Miami offered something crazy, like 3-4 #1 picks + Tua, but they likely won’t. Miami would have to give up multiple years of #1s. The Eagles have three #1 picks in 2022 PLUS the QB Houston likes in Hurts…the Eagles have the assets, it’s just a matter of parting with them.

Part of the PHI-HOU deal holdup is no one fully knowing what the league is going to do about Watson. Suspend him or wait…and how many games, or a whole season? Philly must have some good intel on the Watson discipline to make the Minshew move to make the Watson move. I think the Eagles are also likely trying to negotiate conditions to the picks they give up, if Watson is suspended long term or jailed – but the Texans are probably playing hardball on that and the Eagles, by virtue of the Minshew trade, are likely caving on conditions and ready to go all-in. And I think the Eagles are seeing this season as a write-off, so they’re good with whatever comes down on Watson.


We’ll see what the FF-ramifications are if a deal comes down today/this weekend, but it likely means Joe Flacco to start the season…and killing off all the Eagles weapons, until Minshew is ready to step in…or until Watson is clear – and Watson may be cleared to start Week 1 for all we know.

Speaking of Joe Flacco, the deal the Eagles have on him suggests he’s staying too. Further reasoning that Minshew was added to allow the bigger move of Hurts going away. You’ll have Flacco until Minshew is ready, and Flacco-Minshew until Watson is ready/cleared…even if that’s in 2022.

Hurts will be the same Fantasy weapon/asset in Houston as he was going to be Philly. Now is the perfect time to buy Hurts supercheap in Fantasy…don’t pay fair value…add Hurts cheap as the Watson rumors kick into high gear this day/weekend. Dynasty owners will assume Hurts as a backup to Watson, or just think Minshew is coming to take Hurts’s job in Philly. Either way, there will be Hurts panic for Dynasty (or redraft) owners until he lands in  Houston to be their QB.

If Philly acquires Watson but keeps Hurts, then Hurts has a clock ticking to FF-death waiting for Watson to come in and take the job…but the Minshew deal has to be the lead-in to Hurts being dealt away to get Watson. It has to be. But you never know what the NFL GMs are thinking…because it’s usually highly illogical.


Brace yourself for the Watson trade news – when it happens, we’ll be there to analyze it for FF. Houston FF-things (at RB-WR-TE) suck with or without Hurts, and the Eagles FF-things are better with Watson, or Minshew and worse with Flacco. If Flacco takes Weeks 1-2 as the starter, let’s say…then all Eagles assets are huge downgrades for redraft/2021. You don’t want to spend on things you can’t use for a few weeks.

I cannot believe this Minshew move was just for the sake of frustration with Hurts, but it’s not impossible the logic stops there. I just think, based on all the news this summer and talking with people today – the Minshew move is a ‘tell’ on the looming Deshaun trade. If that’s true, it should happen before this weekend ends. 



About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

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