Carolina Panthers Now in Running for the Deshaun Watson Sweepstakes
Deshaun Watson, the disgruntled quarterback from the Houston Texans who demanded the dysfunctional franchise trade him, recently added the Carolina Panthers as a potential destination for next season joining the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.
The Houston Texans’ new general manager Nick Caserio stated numerous times that they want to keep Watson.
“We have zero interest in trading the player,” said Caserio.
That could be a tough negotiation tactic, or it could simply demonstrate the severity of tone deafness from the organization.
Multiple teams are still in the hunt for a starting quarterback including the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Washington Football Team, and New England Patriots.
The Indianapolis Colts recently secured Carson Wentz in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles after negotiations with the Chicago Bears fell apart.
The Detroit Lions traded Matt Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for a huge haul including Jared Goff and multiple draft picks.
After the Stafford trade, it looks like any team that wants Watson will have to pony up at least three first-round draft picks, plus a sweetener.
For now, the New York Jets are still favorites to land Watson because they have ample draft capital and the coveted #2 pick in the upcoming draft. Plus, Sam Darnold has draw interest in numerous teams including the New England Patriots and Washington Football Club. If the Texans don’t want Darnold, the Jets could package whatever draft pick they obtain for trading Darnold.
Watson to Carolina Panthers for CMAC?
We heard some crazy rumors coming out of Charlotte. One of them suggested that the Carolina Panthers would consider acquiring Watson in a trade for Christian McCaffery plus picks. That seems preposterous, but the Panthers lack the draft capital to compete with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, and would use McCaffrey to put their bid over the top.
McCaffrey has become one of the top running backs in the NFL, especially as a dual-threat runner/receiver. He struggled with injuries in 2020, but CMAC became the youngest player to earn a 99 rating on Madden Football.
The Panthers have the #8 pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. They have Teddy Bridgewater under contract, but Matt Rhule and the Panthers do not think Bridgewater is the right man for the job.
The Panthers wanted Stafford badly, but they lost out to the LA Rams. They offered a 2021 first-round pick, a 2021 second-round pick, and a 2022 first-round pick plus Bridgewater to the Detroit Lions for Stafford.
Now, the Panthers have their sights set on Watson. The latest NFL trade rumor suggested that the Panthers will throw in McCaffrey, in addition to two first-rounders and a second-round pick, to bring Watson to Carolina.
Watson, Tommy Boy, and Little Finger
The Texans have been in a freefall ever since they traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals last offseason. The Texans fired then GM and head coach Bill O’Brien in the middle of the season.
Jack Easterly took over during the power vacuum. NFL insiders nicknamed Easterly, a former chaplain and character coach, as “Littlefinger” with is a direct reference to the popular “Game of Thrones” books and TV show. Easterly has the ear of owner Cal McNair and apparently the two pray together multiple times a day.
Everyone in the Texans organization referred to McNair as “Tommy Boy” behind his back. It’s a reference to the Chris Farley comedy when a man-child inherits a company after the unexpected death of his beloved father. Robert McNair, the founder of the Texans and big-time GOP contributor, passed away in 2018. The franchise has been in the crapper since his death.
Easterly persuaded McNair to hire his buddy, Caserio, from the New England Patriots despite the fact he had zero GM experience. The move irked both Watson who demanded a trade. It also angered team president Jamey Rootes so much that he quit. Rootes had been with the Texans since their inception in the league in 1999.
The Texans dropped the ball when they failed to hire top coordinators including Kansas City Chiefs’ OC Eric Bieniemy, or Tampa Bay Bucs’ DC Todd Bowles.
With all the drama happening in Houston, the Texans front office would be an amazing reality TV show that includes Jesus Freaks, the spoiled offspring of a billionaire, and a conniving operative desperately trying to hold on to power.