The Carolina Panthers will need to be aggressive if they want Deshaun Watson, but there is a way they can land him.
How often does a franchise quarterback land on the NFL market? No, seriously, has this ever happened before?
David Culley and Nick Caserio are two professionals working in a madhouse known as the Houston Texans organization. The head coach and general manager that were hired earlier this month not only need to build a franchise from the ground up, but they’re going to do so likely without Deshaun Watson.
Watson requested a trade from the Texans following a massive fallout this offseason. From cryptic tweets to deleted photos, this is a divorce that’s going to end ugly should Watson make it that way. Look at his agent David Mulugheta, they can make this trade happen if they want to.
In a bigger picture, the Texans have ruined their opportunity to make Watson happy. Now the question is where will Watson land?
David Tepper’s eagerness should land a deal for Deshaun Watson
Panthers’ owner David Tepper has been clear on his stance at upgrading the quarterback position. Bridgewater played fine in his three-year deal, but fine only gets you so far in a division that features Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan.
“Unless you have that guy for sure that gets you to playoffs and Super Bowls, you have to keep reevaluating that because that’s the only thing that matters is Super Bowls,” Tepper told reporters in December.
The Panthers hold the No.8 selection in this year’s draft. That’s the first thing that will go to Houston. With that pick, the team will miss out on likely Zach Wilson and Justin Fields but should be in play for North Dakota State’s Trey Lance or Alabama’s Mac Jones.
Tim Kelly worked wonders with Watson following the firing of Bill O’Brien. Can he do that with the former Bison?
An unproven quarterback isn’t enough to move off a top-five talent like Watson. Carolina would likely need to send the 40th selection in this year’s class, plus a day 3 pick as well. That’s just for the 2021 draft overhaul to land Watson.
Tepper needs to swing big, meaning he’ll bet the farm to land a talent of Watson’s caliber. Houston should ask for the Panthers’ next three first-round picks that would keep them with two selections on day 1 until 2024.
After that, a proven name will have to be in the deal. Houston expected to part way with J.J. Watt and struggled in the secondary. Brian Burns would be an upgrade to the pass rush while do-it-all safety Jeremy Chinn would pair well with Justin Reid as the team’s strong safety.
Watson’s no-trade clause means he’ll have to want to play in Carolina. If he does, Tepper and new GM Scott Fitterer will risk it all to end the rebuild under Matt Rhule’s regime.
Carolina is nicknamed the Queen City. Watson is the King under center the franchise deserves.