5 factors that could see the Panthers go back for Deshaun Watson in 2022

Dean Jones
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson /
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Carolina Panthers
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Carolina Panthers must prove they’re ready to win now

The first two years of head coach Matt Rhule’s reign was expected to be one of transition. His prolific reputation of transforming college programs didn’t happen overnight, but there was a clear step forward in Year 3 at both Temple and Baylor that the Carolina Panthers are hoping for in 2022.

Their defense already looks ready. So providing the Panthers can keep the majority of them around, all that’s left is bolstering the offensive line and finding a quarterback that can help take them from also-rans into legitimate contenders.

Simply put, if the Panthers want to make a deep postseason run, Sam Darnold is not the man for the job.

Deshaun Watson changes all that in an instant.

One cannot look beyond his current troubles. But from a talent standpoint, there aren’t many signal-callers better and that’s why teams are still casting admiring glances in Watson’s direction despite so much uncertainty.

If the Panthers prove they are ready to win now, then it justifies parting ways with multiple high-end draft picks and might even convince Watson himself that this is a realistic next step.

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However, if things turn sour over the second half of the season, then a different approach might be needed ahead of a critical third year for Rhule and the organization.