Panthers To Pursue Deshaun Watson Trade

Even if the Texans have not let it be known they are serious about trading Deshaun Watson, there will be a number of teams who show interest in the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Count the Panthers as one of them.

The rebuilding NFC South squad is planning to make an “aggressive” pursuit for Watson, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). Carolina joins Miami and the Jets as teams closely connected to a potential run at Watson, though it is not yet known if the Panthers would appeal to Watson.

Watson holds a no-trade clause and is believed to be interested in both AFC East destinations. Both the Jets and Dolphins hold two 2021 first-round picks, which will increase their respective abilities to put together trade packages. The Panthers have, however, been mentioned as a suitor recently. Watson’s long-rumored trade request became fully known Thursday.

Regional appeal could seemingly be in play regarding a Watson-Carolina fit. The franchise quarterback is a Georgia native who played four seasons at Clemson in South Carolina. The NFL’s North Carolina-based franchise has a low-end franchise-QB salary on its books, after it signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal worth $63MM, but Bridgewater presumably would not impede the Matt Rhule-run squad from going after Watson.

When asked about Watson recently, new Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said the team will “be in on every deal,” per ESPN.com’s David Newton (on Twitter). The Panthers being an NFC team may have appeal to the Texans, who would surely prefer — if they were to trade Watson — to make a deal with an out-of-conference franchise rather than be forced to see Watson frequently in the coming years.

The Panthers reside in the middle of the pack when it comes to cap space, and thanks to Bridgewater’s $33MM in full guarantees, they would take a bit of a dead-money hit if they released or traded him. A player of Watson’s caliber would certainly supersede any near-future dead-money concerns for a franchise that recently gave HC Matt Rhule a seven-year contract. Watson’s $39MM-per-year deal runs through the 2025 season.

The team also has talented skill-position cogs Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson under contract for at least two more seasons — assuming Moore’s fifth-year option is picked up come May. Carolina will also be connected to quarterback prospects with its No. 8 overall pick. That selection, the Panthers’ 2022 first-rounder and likely more would be required in an offer for Watson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

View Comments (19)
newest oldest

19 comments on “Panthers To Pursue Deshaun Watson Trade

  1. crosseyedlemon

    I think with the remarks Watson made about the Texans being apathetic to social issues he’s put himself in a position where he probably has to join a team with a black head coach to save face. Not sure the Panthers or other teams not meeting that criteria have much of a chance of landing him but we’ll see.

  2. I Beg To Differ

    Why not.

    Bridgewater can be an immediate replacement

    Ask for 3 1sts including this years, 2 3rds, 2 4ths and. The #8 overall has some value. Not as much as the #2 the Jets have and theyd be taking back Bridgewater at 20+ mill vs Darnold whos on a rookie contract

    Ideally its the Jets but whoever ponys up the most

      • I Beg To Differ

        Sam Darnold- rookie contract 2 years left 11-15 mill total if his 5th year option is exercised. Jets can also offer the #2 overall pick

        Tua- 4 years left on his rookie year. Dolphims can offer the #3 and the #18 overall picks.

        Teddy Bridgewater- 42 mill left to pay him. Panthers can only offer 1 first this year. The #8. Any draft pick next year is most likely bottom first 25 or worst.

        They have a worst pick this year than Jets or Dolphins (meaning they miss out on top guys like Fields or Sewell)

        They don’t have as much draft capital as Jets or Dolphins

        They have a more expensive QB than Jets or Dolphins

        3 1sts, 2 3rds, 2 4th is what it till take to beat the Jets or Dolphins offer.

  3. gtb1

    Good riddance. This isn’t what leaders do. This is what Harden does. Dashaun was better than that. Guess his press went to his head. Pity the team that takes on his contract. Two ACL injuries already and the McNair family still brought the cash that only qb’s that have won SB’s have gotten. 39 million a year. Signed an extension. Whatever happened to gratitude? Crybaby.

  4. RyanO

    I think they’d take a lesser package to send him to the NFC. They don’t want to see him the next 10-15 years especially in playoffs.

    #8 could still find a qb or just take a great player & “tank” with Bridgewater.

    I think something like TB plus four 1s and two 2s, two 3s gets it done. Four 1s is a lot especially a qb not on a rookie contract but that’s what it may take to pry him.

    Ramsey & Adams got two 1s so four is probably not out of the question. Panthers roster is actually pretty good and Watson could make them a contender.

    • dejota

      Hey the first trade proposal for Watson that isn’t an immediate no for the Texans.

      I think with TB’s negative value that actually works.

      I think the opening salvo for an acceptable offer is 3x 1sts, 2nds and 3rds + icing.

      • DarkSide830

        if that’s equal value then he’s going nowhere. 4 first rounders is crazy, especially for a rebuilding team like CAR.

        • RyanO

          I disagree. CAR only lost 3 games by more than 1 possession & didn’t have CMC almost entire year.

          Spent a ton of draft capital on D last year and on O have CMC plus good receivers, decent Oline. I like Rhule and think they could compete next year for a title with Watson.

          Four 1s is a lot but owner is adamant about winning & in my proposal it would basically be two picks a season and theoretically those 1s would be low picks.

          TB would just be for salary match and give Texans a bridge qb, not saying he has much value.

          • Ak185

            When you say four 1s is good, do you mean that is what you expect could be possible for Carolina or that it is what your opinion of what Watson’s actual value is? I am not being sarcastic, I just wanted to ask.

            I will say that, to your point, Carolina does have an impatient owner who is not afraid to meddle. If he decides that he needs Watson, Tepper will go and get him. I don’t think any of us see Fitterer as an actual force in the organization, so it’s really Tepper’s decision. I suppose the question is how much is too much for him? Tepper seems to be very determined to get what he wants, but what is his “say no” point?

  5. WSnotAstros2017

    I hate to see Watson go but Ownership and the front office failed him. Yes he signed an extension but with Bill he was not helping things. Getting rid of good players because he did not like them and McNair just let him do what ever these last few years. I think JJ is gone too. But hope can get someone to lead us. I think this Easterby or such is issue too. Harden he wanted a ring and too a coach with clout at least. But the Rockets or Harden saying I want CP3 then say get rid of him I want Westbrook then that did not work. Plus Rockets were not doing anything with DAntoni either. COVID made things crazy some. Ownership there focused on the one from ESPN that was former coach then changed to perhaps get an unknown. Yes Silas was an assistant for 20 years but will he really take them anywhere. Will this guy take Texans anywhere as well with just being. Running backs coach more than anything. No big coaching. I would have loved Saleh or the one from KC. So guess Houston is place to give coaches with not deep experience as HC or who has been assistant for career. If the two do things for their teams then more power to them.

  6. MileHighFan

    The Panthers make-up looks a lot like the team that Watson got drafted by – and failed with. They’d be better off letting someone else get ripped off.

Leave a Reply