Report: Deshaun Watson would approve Panthers trade

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson /

Deshaun Watson is reportedly keen on a move to the Carolina Panthers, according to a recent report.

The list of teams looking to acquire Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans will be a long one. Quarterbacks with his elite skill set rarely look for a move at the peak of their powers, but such is his frustration at the way team owner Cal McNair is handling affairs off the field, the former first-round pick has been left with no alternative other than to demand a trade.

Few NFL organizations wouldn’t consider Watson an upgrade on what they currently have under center. The Carolina Panthers are making no secret of their desire to replace Teddy Bridgewater after a season full of inconsistent performances that saw the free-agent signing go 0-8 on game-winning or tying drives during the campaign.

Carolina is going to be aggressive if the failed trade to land Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions is any indication.

But whether they can tempt the Texans with an astronomical offer is another matter entirely.

There is also the small matter of Watson’s no-trade clause to consider. However, according to a recent report, the player is keen on a move back to an area where he starred in college at Clemson on his way to becoming the No. 12 overall selection in 2017.

Deshaun Watson gives green light to three NFL teams.

ESPN Upstate reported late on Monday that Watson would waive his no-trade clause to join the Panthers, providing an agreement can be reached between Carolina and Houston in the coming weeks.

However, there could be some problems on the horizon.

Firstly, the Texans are not entertaining calls for Watson, at least for now. They remain steadfast that the relationship with the signal-caller can be patched up and it’s a developing saga that might go on a while yet.

Secondly, and perhaps most important, is that Watson is also willing to join the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets this spring, per ESPN Upstate.

The Jets have the No. 2 overall selection and plenty of cap space to bring in the recruits needed to build around Watson. Miami is sitting at No. 3 – with the prospect of also including Tua Tagovailoa in another potential trade.

Both teams could offer better packages than Carolina from the outside looking in, although if the Panthers decide to go all-in with multiple first-round picks and some talented players are thrown in for good measure, it levels the playing field.

It’s clear Bridgewater’s time with the Panthers is over.

But there are some significant hurdles for Carolina to overcome if it wants to acquire Watson and completely transform expectations in the second year of Matt Rhule’s reign.

This would be a franchise-altering move if they can pull it off.

Watson is willing to give the trade the green light if reports are to be believed. But even though there does appear to be some real momentum behind the trade, there is much work to be done for the Panthers to land their man.