Will David Tepper have final say in potential Deshaun Watson trade?
By Dean Jones
Could owner David Tepper throw his weight around in his quest to get Deshaun Watson to the Carolina Panthers this offseason?
The Carolina Panthers are continuing to be linked with a trade for Deshaun Watson. This would be a franchise-altering call from the organization and one that would raise expectations to a level not seen since Cam Newton was in his prime. But there are plenty of hurdles to overcome before this landmark dream is potentially realized.
First, and perhaps most important for now, is the Houston Texans aren’t entertaining the thought despite Watson’s trade request. They are attempting to build bridges with the quarterback – with little success thus far – but their insistence that he won’t be traded at any stage is something that’s making a lot of teams look in a different direction.
Another big problem is the asking price, which is expected to be multiple first-round picks and a couple of talented defensive players thrown in to sweeten the deal. Carolina has plenty of those, but whether they’d be willing to part with the likes of Brian Burns, Derrick Brown, or Jeremy Chinn is highly questionable.
Giving up too much for Watson – no matter how elite he is – would compromise all the good work Matt Rhule’s done during the first year of his rebuild. The head coach and new general manager Scott Fitterer have no doubt discussed the possibility at length and will make what they think is a reasonable offer, at the very least.
However, the influence of David Tepper cannot be understated. The team owner has been bold with his moves since buying the franchise from Jerry Richardson and if the billionaire has any say in the matter, Watson will be on the Panthers next season.