The Carolina Panthers were at one time heavily involved in trade discussions for Deshaun Watson.
However, once all the sexual misconduct allegations surfaced, the organization backed off and ended up trading with the Jets for former first round pick Sam Darnold. After a 3-0 start, Carolina has now lost four straight, culminating with Darnold getting benched on Sunday after another dismal performance.
With the Darnold experiment not working out to this point, the Panthers could be once again looking for a franchise quarterback. According to NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler, the team doesn’t think they have one currently, and could look to make a move for Watson ahead of the trade deadline.
“Things have changed after that ugly loss to the New York Giants,” Fowler said. “I checked with multiple sources who acknowledged that things could heat up for Watson, largely because they need a franchise quarterback and right now the feeling is, they might not have one.”
“Carolina was heavily involved in the Watson sweepstakes back in, you know, February, March time before the sexual assault allegations. I was told they were willing to outbid just about anybody at that time so that’s important to keep in mind.”
The Dolphins are another team currently pursuing the former Clemson quarterback.
“Now, Miami, their talks could intensify because then the feeling around the league is that they didn’t want to bid against themselves originally,” Fowler said. “But now if Carolina or other teams are involved, they might not have to.”
Watson does have a no trade clause and according to John McLain of the Houston Chronicle, the embattled quarterback has still only given the Texans the green light to trade him to one team. That is Miami.
While that may be true as of today, Fowler said that Watson would be willing to consider other options.
“I was told directly from a source Deshaun Watson is willing to consider multiple options here,” Fowler said. “It is not Miami or bust, as has been sort of the perception league wide. Multiple teams are going to be interested in, and he’s going to take all that into account in all of this.”
There are obviously some risks involved for both Miami and Carolina when it comes to trading for Watson. His legal problems don’t look to be getting settled anytime in the near future. However, desperate times call for desperate measures and the risk could be worth the reward.
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