Will David Tepper have final say in potential 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
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) David Tepper /

David Tepper’s desire for change

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has made absolutely no secret of his desire to get a better option under center in 2021. His comments both during and after the 2020 season weren’t exactly singing the praises of Teddy Bridgewater and it would be a huge shock if the former first-round pick was still the No. 1 option by the time training camp and OTAs roll around at this juncture.

Tepper didn’t accumulate his astonishing wealth by waiting for deals to come to him. He has been more patient than many expected in Carolina. But that might not be the case for much longer if he wants Deshaun Watson to come on board.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Tepper is intent on getting a premier signal-caller and sees Watson as the man to take the Panthers up to the next level and into possible contention for a Super Bowl sooner rather than later.

"Tepper is done with the caretaker, band-aid, we’ll see model of quarterback. He’s made it clear to those in the organization, and to his confidants around the NFL, that he wants desperately to upgrade into the penthouse of quarterbacks, believing it to be the most critical element to elevating the team to the heights – both in the standings and financially – that he seeks to soar. And Deshaun Watson, sources said, is far and away his guy. I suspect the Panthers will be willing to get quite creative (including emerging pass-rushing force Brian Burns in any package maybe even more attractive than McCaffrey, though that dual-threat running back could certainly kick start an offensive resurgence for any young QB should the Texans prefer to draft a passer in the event Watson is in fact dealt)."

Whether La Canfora is on the money with this is a moot point, really. Everybody knows that Tepper wants a team competing for honors on the field by the time his ambitious plans to move their headquarters to Rock Hill in South Carolina are complete.

That won’t be the case if the Panthers keep settling for mid-level guys who can only get them so far. Bridgewater is a clear case in point, which makes the decision to give him a three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed even more bizarre.

What’s done is done.

It’s what comes next that is most important and the Panthers cannot be wrong again.