4 strangest offseason decisions by the Carolina Panthers in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper /
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Carolina Panthers
(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson /

Carolina Panthers ignored the obvious with Deshaun Watson

Finding a better alternative to Sam Darnold at the quarterback position was a major need for the Carolina Panthers this offseason. And there was one man above all else that team owner David Tepper wanted to secure.

The Panthers made no secret of their intent to pursue Deshaun Watson relentlessly despite the ever-increasing sexual misconduct allegations surrounding the signal-caller. They were perhaps the only team that remained interested in the player throughout this process and once no legal charges were coming, it sparked a frenzy across the league.

Carolina put together a trade package big enough for the Houston Texans to grant permission for a meeting. Major players from the franchise sat down with Watson to make their pitch, which ended in failure after the Panthers reportedly refused to match his contract demands.

Considering everything that’s transpired since Watson joined the Cleveland Browns, it’s only become seedier. Now that he’s settled 20 of the 24 civil cases, a lengthy suspension could be on the horizon.

Tepper and the Panthers are still looking and might make another move before the team’s training camp. But to ignore the obvious where Watson was concerned in pursuit of winning football did not paint anybody in a good light.