Did Panthers kiss Deshaun Watson goodbye after Matthew Stafford trade?

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: Detroit Free Press) Matthew Stafford /

Matthew Stafford’s trade to the Los Angeles Rams could have a big impact on the Carolina Panthers and their pursuit of Deshaun Watson.

The Carolina Panthers did not come up with the necessary asking price to acquire Matthew Stafford, and rightfully so. A bombshell move by the Los Angeles Rams enabled them to acquire the signal-caller for former No. 1 overall selection Jared Goff, two first-round picks, and their third-rounder this year, which is an unbelievably good haul from the Detroit Lions considering the circumstances.

According to reports, the Panthers were in the mix along with around seven other teams across the league, with any offer turned away by Detroit in favor of the Rams’ offer. This could have huge ramifications on Carolina’s pursuit of a signal-caller upgrade this offseason and in particular, their chances of trading for Deshaun Watson.

If Stafford is worth this sort of compensation, then what could Watson command?

This deal won’t have gone unnoticed by the Houston Texans, who might not be intent on granting Watson his request to depart the organization, at least for now.

However, they are going to get a king’s ransom in no uncertain terms if Watson makes things difficult during the offseason and Stafford’s shock move to Los Angeles will be a measuring stick when they eventually start realistically taking calls for their franchise player.

Carolina appears intent on bringing in a better option than Teddy Bridgewater this offseason. Last year’s marquee free-agent signing just didn’t do enough to convince people he is a viable long-term starter for the Panthers and there have been some damning quotes from head coach Matt Rhule, new general manager Scott Fitterer, and owner David Tepper on the player’s future in recent weeks.

But make no mistake, Stafford’s trade to the Rams makes things very difficult for the Panthers moving forward.