With Deshaun Watson demanding a trade, a certain NFC South team is reportedly expected to make a strong push for the quarterback.
On Wednesday evening, news broke that the Houston Texans were set to hire David Culley of the Baltimore Ravens to be their next head coach. On Thursday morning, reports surfaced that quarterback Deshaun Watson demanded a trade out of Houston weeks ago.
Considering Watson is a top-five quarterback in the entire NFL, more than half the league is going to be looking to acquire him. We’ve heard teams like the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins receive buzz, but there’s a surprise team that’s entered the fray.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Carolina Panthers are expected to be “aggressive” in their pursuit of Watson.
The Panthers have entered a new era after the team hired head coach Matt Rhule from Baylor. From the start, the team moved on from Cam Newton and effectively replaced him with Teddy Bridgewater on a three-year, $63 million contract. After success with the New Orleans Saints as the backup to Drew Brees, Bridgewater was far from consistent in a Panthers uniform. Through 15 games, Bridgewater threw for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on a 69.1 completion percentage.
After one year, Rhule hasn’t committed to Bridgewater being the starter for the 2021 season. That’s where Watson comes in. Watson carries all the power in trade negotiations because his four-year, $156 million contract extension includes a full no-move clause. Wherever Watson wants to go, he has the say. While the Texans are adamant on not trading Watson, they may be enticed with the 2021 NFL Draft looming.
Carolina does have solid pieces on offense like running back Christian McCaffrey to wide receivers DJ Moore and Robby Anderson for Watson to work with. In addition, the Panthers have the draft capital that could entice the Texans, whom are without their first and second-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft thanks to the Laremy Tunsil trade orchestrated by former head coach Bill O’Brien. Also, don’t rule out the Panthers including Bridgewater into the deal to give Houston a bridge quarterback, no pun intended.
Rapoport has spoken — keep an eye on the Panthers in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes.