3 trade packages for the Carolina Panthers to land J.J. Watt

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) J.J. Watt
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) J.J. Watt /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) J.J. Watt /

Carolina Panthers trade package No. 3

Considering the Houston Texans are reportedly looking for a couple of young pieces on defense in any trade for Deshaun Watson, then offering them one as part of a package in pursuit of J.J. Watt isn’t the worst idea in the world. Shaq Thompson is a prime candidate for this and dealing the linebacker would also solve a problem brewing between the former first-rounder and the Carolina Panthers this offseason.

Thompson’s base salary is going up from $4 million to $10.18 million in 2021. This also comes with a salary-cap hit of $14.18 million that will rise to $16.36 million on the final year of his deal in 2023.

That would be fine if Thompson played at an elite level in 2020.

But that was far from the case.

He was the player who missed Luke Kuechly’s presence the most. Not having the perennial All-Pro putting him in the right position constantly really hurt his production and the Panthers might decide to try and move him on this spring rather than be on the hook for so much money moving forward.

If Thompson ended up in Houston, his production would surely improve alongside Zach Cunningham, who is one of the best around. It might take some convincing on the Panthers’ part, but throwing a couple of mid-level picks for good measure would undoubtedly sweeten the deal.