Can the Carolina Panthers afford to wait for Deshaun Watson?
By Dean Jones
Impact of waiting for Deshaun Watson
The benefits of securing the services of Deshaun Watson are there for all to see. He is a sensational talent that is proven at the highest level, so getting this sort of player at the peak of his powers is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the Carolina Panthers would be foolish to pass up.
However, if they put all their eggs in one basket and decide that Watson is worth the wait, it could come back to haunt them.
There is more than one NFL team looking for a better option under center this offseason. It promises to be an unprecedented period of player movement at the position and the Panthers won’t want to get left behind either in the trade market, during free agency, or the 2021 NFL Draft.
If they do, it is going to set them back considerably.
The decision as to whether Teddy Bridgewater is the man to lead them moving forward has already been made. Carolina’s efforts since the season concluded state this, with the team coming close to achieving a trade for Matthew Stafford before the Los Angeles Rams came in with a better offer.
Simply put, the Panthers cannot afford to get their next quarterback move wrong.
But banking on the Texans eventually fielding calls for Watson comes with its own set of complications.
Houston will be fully aware of the quarterback situation developing across the league. They’ll want to maximize value for a true NFL star and holding the Panthers or someone else to ransom with dwindling options elsewhere would put Carolina between a rock and a hard place.
There is also a small matter of the draft to consider. The Panthers might end up missing out on the top-three signal-callers entering the league this year. So they’d have to give up a significant amount of capital to trade up and take someone like Zach Wilson or Justin Fields.
This is a precarious situation that needs to be handled with the utmost care by the Panthers. And make no mistake, a wrong decision would be devastating.