Why are the Carolina Panthers still being linked with Deshaun Watson?

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson /
3 of 3
Carolina Panthers
(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson /

Should the Carolina Panthers have waited for Deshaun Watson?

It wouldn’t have been a smart move for the Carolina Panthers to sit on their hands in the hope Deshaun Watson’s legal problems became a thing of the past. There was no guarantee they’d have enough to tempt the Houston Texans into doing a deal, and the player also has a no-trade clause that shouldn’t be ignored.

Those in power made no secret of their desire to move on from Teddy Bridgewater after just one season. The Panthers almost acquired Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions before the Los Angeles Rams came in with a better offer, which turned their attention to Sam Darnold in a deal that cost them three draft selections.

If it doesn’t work out, at least they tried.

Darnold does have some likable traits to call upon. Although just how much his confidence was dented at MetLife Stadium remains to be seen.

As for Watson, he appears some way off getting on the football field again.

Teams aren’t going to make a move right now with so many complications surrounding the former first-round pick. So he might end up having to turn out for the Texans in 2021 if he’s given the green light.

Watson would transform Carolina into an instant playoff contender. There’s no doubt about that.

More. 5 Carolina Panthers players who’ll exceed expectations at training camp. light

But the simple fact of the matter is they could not jeopardize their current rebuild by waiting for things to play out and settle for another campaign of mediocrity with Bridgewater in 2021.