Deshaun Watson rumors are fracturing the Carolina Panthers fanbase

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

Deshaun Watson’s potential trade to the Carolina Panthers is fracturing the team’s fanbase given the quarterback’s current legal matters.

Things seem to be escalating regarding the next destination for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. With the trade deadline set for November 2, many insiders across the league expect the three-time Pro Bowler to be dealt before then and the Carolina Panthers are reportedly ready to make an offer once again for the former Clemson star.

Watson’s talent is unquestioned. He is a top-five quarterback when firing on all cylinders and that is not even up for discussion.

However, there are many layers to this potential move that simply cannot be ignored.

These obviously center on Watson’s legal problems, of which there are many. The player is currently facing 22 charges of sexual misconduct and it’s hard to look at this move in any other way than a significant gamble for anybody that eventually pulls the trigger.

Quarterbacks with the gifts Watson brings to the table seldom become available on the trade market. Certainly, not in their prime.

But these ongoing rumors surrounding Carolina’s potential involvement after another inept performance from Sam Darnold at the New York Giants have fractured the team’s fanbase.

Panthers Twitter is always an eventful place. Even more so over the last month as the team’s gone from 3-0 to 3-4 in a hurry.

But rarely has a topic been so divisive.

Carolina Panthers fanbase is divided on possible Deshaun Watson trade.

There are some who feel these accusations are going to tarnish the team’s reputation. One they’ve worked hard to build back up following the indiscretions of previous owner Jerry Richardson.

Others are taking the innocent until proven guilty approach and focusing more on what Watson can do for the Panthers on the field.

When asked about the topic on Monday, head coach Matt Rhule stated the reports didn’t come from him and reaffirmed his faith in Darnold as the team’s starter.

"“I know there’s a report out there. You guys know that wasn’t from me. My focus is on this team. We’re a 3-4 football team right now, and we’ve got to find a way to win this week. My focus is on learning from yesterday and getting ready for this week. With that being said, Sam will start at quarterback this week. I’ve said to you guys there’s going to be some high moments and some low moments, I think how he responds this week is going to be important for him and our team.”"

Rhule’s comments don’t really hold much weight considering what he said about the likes of Cam Newton and Teddy Bridgewater before they were shipped out at a moment’s notice.

And in all honesty, the decision might have been taken out of his hands.

Team owner David Tepper – who reportedly went into the locker room following Carolina’s embarrassing loss in Week 7 – is getting pretty tired of seeing his ambitious plans away from the gridiron being unmatched by subpar performances on it.

This is a bold move if the Panthers go in this direction. But the billionaire will know full well the backlash he’ll receive from some sections of the support.

Tepper didn’t accumulate his unbelievable wealth by not making the odd gamble. He better be ready for what comes next if a deal is struck.

Not only will this cost the Panthers multiple first-round picks and a couple of players for good measure, but it might also end up blowing up in their face if Watson is found guilty of the charges. Even though Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network is reporting that the signal-caller won’t go on the commissioner’s exempt list if a trade is confirmed.

If these allegations didn’t exist, Watson might already be in Carolina. That’s how much they were willing to go all-in to acquire the player earlier this year.

Related Story. 3 Carolina Panthers trade offers that would be accepted for Deshaun Watson. light

That might still end up being the case before next week. However, it won’t be nearly as well received by those who’ve already made up their mind about what sort of person Watson is.