Report: Carolina Panthers not done exploring Deshaun Watson trade

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson /

The Carolina Panthers have not given up hope of landing quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans, according to a recent report. 

Things appear to be moving quickly regarding a potential trade for Deshaun Watson before the 2021 deadline of November 2. The quarterback still has a large number of legal accusations to overcome, but that’s not putting teams off trying to secure the player’s services despite so much uncertainty surrounding him.

According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Texans are close to agreeing on a deal that would send Watson to the Miami Dolphins. This would leave Tua Tagovailoa on the outside looking in, with speculation linking the former Alabama star with a move to the Washington Football Team gathering pace.

All this happened very quickly. No matter how much Watson’s reputation has been damaged by the sexual misconduct claims, players with his ability tend to get more chances than most.

Of course, the former Clemson star hasn’t been found guilty as yet. But whether a trade would come with Watson going on the Commissioner’s Exempt list immediately after to prevent him from taking the field is also something that cannot be ignored.

This all-but ended the rumors linking the Carolina Panthers with a trade for Watson – a player they were reportedly willing to bet the house on earlier in the offseason before problems away from the gridiron surfaced.

However, according to a recent report, they might not be done just yet.

Carolina Panthers have reportedly held recent discussions over Deshaun Watson.

Jeff Howe and Aaron Reiss, who are the national NFL insider and Texans reporter for The Athletic, published a joint article on Wednesday evening claiming that no deal is imminent regarding Watson.

Not only this, but they also claimed that the Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles have held discussions about Watson with the organization recently.

"“In addition to the Dolphins, the Texans have had recent discussions with the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles, according to sources. However, the seriousness of those discussions – ranging from casual discussion to actual trade negotiations – hasn’t been disclosed.”"

Groundhog day, anyone?

These leaks don’t happen by accident. Houston wants Watson removed from the equation and is probably willing to accept a lower trade offer before the deadline, so stories like this are manufactured to try and flush out potential suitors who fear missing out.

Sam Darnold’s progression has regressed considerably over the last three weeks. And team owner David Tepper made no secret of his desire to seal a deal for Watson before things took a sour turn.

But it’s hard to envisage a situation where Carolina has the draft capital or the willingness to mortgage their future on a player that might be off the field for some time.

Thankfully, this ongoing saga is almost at an end one way or another. Although there is still a chance Watson isn’t traded by the deadline given the circumstances.

If the Panthers did end up pulling the trigger, to say it would be met with a mixed response would be an understatement.

As stated previously, Watson’s talent is undeniable and Carolina becomes an instant contender with him under center. But the backlash and risk make this a gamble of epic proportions.

Only time will tell, obviously. And someone like Tepper didn’t accumulate his vast wealth by finishing second too much.

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As fans, all you can do is wait until something a little more formal is confirmed either way.