4 Panthers who’d benefit most from Deshaun Watson trade

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers RB

It’s hard to envisage a situation where the Carolina Panthers would acquire Deshaun Watson without giving up star running back Christian McCaffrey. But if they did manage to pull a deal off and keep the All-Pro, the possibilities are limitless.

McCaffrey endured a frustrating 2020 campaign where he played just three games due to ankle, shoulder, and quad problems. However, it’s easy to forget that he came into the year having become only the third player in NFL history to go over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season, and putting Watson alongside him in the backfield would be almost unstoppable.

This is all predicated on McCaffrey ridding himself of the problems that blighted him during the campaign. But teams would not be able to focus on the Stanford product if an elite player such as Watson was taking snaps.

It’s that simple.

The Carolina Panthers plan to be aggressive in their pursuit of Watson, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport. Only one or two players would legitimately be off the table in any potential talks, which might mean McCaffrey is traded due to positional importance alone.

However, if Watson arrived and McCaffrey remained, coupled with the presence of Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, then the sky is the limit.