Panthers clearing cap space, want to make a run at Deshaun Watson

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
Getty Images

The Panthers have cut several players this month, creating some cap space that they’d love to spend on Deshaun Watson.

Carolina’s moves in the last week have cleared nearly $20 million in cap space, which would be enough to absorb Watson’s 2021 cap hit, and the Panthers plan to make a run at Watson if the Texans make him available in a trade, David Newton of ESPN reports. (That is an actual report, although ESPN has given it less attention than the “bold prediction” that the Panthers’ offer would be Christian McCaffrey and three first-round draft picks.)

The phrasing of the report — the Panthers will make a run at Watson if the Texans make him available — is almost identical to a previous report that the Broncos will make an offer for Watson if the Texans make him available. That suggests that multiple teams are waiting around for the Texans to say Watson is on the trading block, and then they’ll pull the trigger on a big offer when and if the Texans give them the go-ahead.

But if you want Watson and think you can make a credible offer for him, why wait? Why not call the Texans now and let them know you’re willing to part with a significant number of draft picks and/or players to get Watson? The worst the Texans can tell you is no. In a best-case scenario, it may begin the process of your team acquiring one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Watson wants to be traded, and the Texans are saying publicly that they won’t trade him. But there’s likely some trade package good enough that the Texans would make the move. Teams like the Broncos and Panthers appear ready to make those offers.

54 responses to “Panthers clearing cap space, want to make a run at Deshaun Watson

  1. The Texans should trade Watson Bull O’Brien ruined that team and they don’t have any draft picks, that being said I would think who ever they trade him to would have to be farther up the board so that they can at least have a shot at a quarterback, Watson is in a weird spot , he complains about the Texans yet wherever he goes the lyneill be with out draft picks for 3 years

  2. Did CMC piss Carolina off or something? Aren’t the 6 most feared words as a NFL player right now : You Have Been Traded To Houston?

  3. Interesting times ahead. One thing I wonder, though. What will be the consequences down the road, for both players and teams? For teams, they will be far less likely to hand out multi-year mega deals to qb’s, for fear a Watson/Wentz/Goff situation will arises. Qbs, on the other hand, will be much more likely to act out in hopes of a trade if they’re unhappy. In the end, I think it will be a net loss for younger quarterbacks – there will be a lot of pushback on megadeals.

    Dak should have taken the money when he could. He may wind up playing for another team, but I don’t think nearly as much money’s going to be there waiting for him.

  4. I would love to see Watson here in Carolina and hope that we can make this happen. I do feel that it will not happen because of what they will want for Watson. If we make an offer this must happen before the draft and we must have a solid backup plan to go get our QB in the draft. I really like what our new GM is doing and would love to see him add more cap by reworking CMC and Shack contracts

  5. But if you want Watson and think you can make a credible offer for him, why wait?
    Because you’re always telling us that acting desperate tips the trade value against you. Better to wait until Texans realise they can’t repair things and have to sell, or you hear another offer.

  6. So they have a below average roster and are going to trade all their picks for 3 years? And McCaffrey? Why would they think that is a good idea? Houston had some key player and Watson couldn’t even get them to .500. He is not a franchise changing QB. They shall learn the hard way. In 3 years rinse and repeat MeShaun.

  7. This would be a very smart move by the Panthers, it is extremely rare a QB like Watson becomes available especially at his age. Not having a QB is it a deep dark place that is very hard to crawl out of. Houston on the other hand would be stupid to deal Watson. Then on the side of Watson I’m sure he wants to get himself to the NFC ASAP as Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes are about to donate the AFC for the next 15+ years and Watson doesn’t want to end up the Phil Rivers if the Manning/Brady era.

  8. Giving up three first round picks for Watson is a mistake. He’s overrated, has bad knees and doesn’t make the players around him any better, much like Dak in Dallas. Stats are great for the individual, but it’s the wins that matter most…

  9. Clearing cap space is what football teams do every offseason. In this case it has nothing to do with Watson and is just regular offseason cap clearing chores.
    Panthers need to resign Taylor Moton and have additional cap room for free agent pieces.

  10. What has Watson ever won ? He had some really talented players around him. The great one’s would have found a way to win games. Look how John Elway got to Super Bowls in his early years. Now that’s money !

  11. Break the bank for a mediocre malcontent? Did they not see how Carson Wentz worked out for Philly?

  12. Teams seem to be willing to give up a lot for a QB that holds on to the ball way too long and invites sacks !!!

  13. If they do offer, Watson should decline. Why go to a team that just traded it’s best weapon plus three 1st round picks? He obviously wants to win, and giving up so much makes it that much harder to do so.

  14. I don’t think Watson is a mediocre talent, but as others have said, is it worth hamstringing your franchise in the future for ANY QB? And give up McCaffrey? It would be hard to view this as Carolina improving their chances overall.

    And Tannehill shows us that a QB going to a better team can have great results. But the Titans didn’t have to mortgage their future to get him.

    I will also add that the NFL is a small pond. Everyone knows everyone to some degree. No one who’s interested in Watson is waiting for anything – calls have already been made to Houston to see if he’s available. If Houston has said “no”, then sure, they’ll wait until that answer changes. But once Houston says “yes, he’s available” that hurts their leverage in a trade.

    I find this stuff fascinating. But the NFL never learns – seldom is the QB the “final piece of the puzzle”. Brady was in TB, but look at how unsettled the QB market is every offseason. Teams lack patience and it sure as hell looks like a lot of them don’t really know what they’re doing.

  15. Theoretically, if this is a real scenario, it’s Houston’s best chance at cleaning up this debacle. And outside of TB, the NFC South isn’t as strong as others, especially if Brees does retire. Giving up all that draft capital for Watson isn’t smart, but Houston would be fools to turn it down…

    …so expect it to go nowhere.

  16. I would love to Hooosten stick to their guns and keep Watson even if it means he sits out the season at a huge loss of money. Realistically that cant happen and they know it so what they are doing now is giving teams the time they need to clear cap space and prepare to go to war with each other over Watson with great offers.
    Houston needs to rebuild and cant do it without players, why not top players via the draft thanks to Watson. Hell he is doing them a favor when you think of it and maybe deep down they are saying the same thing?

  17. You must be high AF to dream Carolina would dump CMC. He’s the most versatile back in the league and would get DESTROYED on the Texans. 3 firsts? Tom Brady before his first Super Bowl win isn’t worth that. No one is. Crazy talk. If it happens, color me stunned.

  18. The last 3 first round picks by the Panthers have been Derrick Brown, Brian Burns, DJ Moore… I think they would be okay giving that up to get a 25 year old franchise QB… CMC is 25 coming of an injury riddled year and has maybe 3 years left of being a top tier player but it doesn’t matter with no QB they go no where — just look at the RBs in this Superbowl. This is a QB league get with the times.

  19. Watson is a diva. Why would you want that headache. A QB that has won nothing demanding to pick his HC. See ya

  20. Is there a single example of a team going all in on trading for a player and it actually working out for them in the long run? There are plenty of examples of the opposite, yet each couple years there seems to be a team willing to sellout for someone. Doesn’t make sense. Teams that build from the draft, especially from the inside (OF / DF lines) out, tend to be where your teams with staying power reside. Teams chasing glory with a single piece usually get stuck holding the bag and hurting there team’s for years to come.

  21. Watson is the most overrated player in the last 20 years. I’ve watched his entire career, including college. He’s certainly a great young man. If he had the head to play QB, he’d be terrific. He definitely has the physical talent. I’ve also watched Tom Brady’s entire career. The QB position is 95% head, 5% body. I’ve never seen a worse body on a QB than Tom Brady. He can’t run, but he never gets sacked. It has nothing to do with his OLine. Watson is a great athlete, but he gets sacked all the time. He just can’t process information quickly. I’m not saying it’s easy. It probably the hardest thing to do in all of pro sports. That’s why guys like Montana and Brady were so much better than everyone else. Both guys were very late draft picks. They were overlooked because they didn’t have the physical gifts that guys like Watson and JaMarcus Russell possess.

  22. Break the bank for a mediocre malcontent? Did they not see how Carson Wentz worked out for Philly?

    Huh? Are you saying Watson is mediocre? He’s definitely not. And are you saying the Eagles gave up too much to draft Wentz, or are you saying the Colts gave up too much to trade for him? Are you saying not to pay high end talent, because everyone knows teams win all the time with a bunch of cheap crap playing?

  23. I’d be ok with him going there. I just hope it happens soon, and then the Jets can get what they can for Darnold and get ready to take Zach Wilson in the draft.

  24. The Panthers would be going from the original Cam Newton to another one, and that’s not a good thing.

  25. Deshaun Watson signed a $156 million contract with the Texans 168 days ago. Now he can’t stop whining about how he needs to be traded. Complete madness.

  26. Who says the space is for Watson, and why does a team want a guy who hasn’t done anything in his career? Which year did Watson win the touchdown title? Yards? Completion percentage leader? MVP? Superbowl winner? How about playoff wins how many of those does he have? He’s not worth 3 first round picks by any stretch

  27. You are what your record says you are. per Bill Parcells

    That’s what Watson is by his record, not great yet!

    But this year he has proven to be a head case. He also has a no trade clause, that he and his agent insisted on.

    I wouldn’t give up 3 firsts for this guy.

  28. Wanting Watson is a fact. Willing to give up CMC plus three very high picks is a rumor. n Don’t believe everything you hear.

  29. Panthers would be silly to do this. Would just turn them into the Texans. Unless you’re a QB away from a SB, why would you trade your future for Watson? And even then, he’s the 2nd highest paid player in the NFL. Even if we are extremely generous and say he’s the 2nd best QB, does having the 2nd best QB do much for you if you have to pay him like it? I’ve just had a look through super bowls since 2000, and if I’m not mistaken, not a single top 5 paid QB has won it. I thought perhaps Peyton in 07 might’ve been, but he wasn’t. Perhaps I might’ve missed someone, but the trend is clear regardless.

  30. Do people not read and understand what they’re reading. The reference to trading McCaffrey was a bold prediction. It wasn’t presented as fact! Anyway – If Watson comes to the Panthers, he’s going to need CMC.

  31. Watson would be foolish to go to Carolina, especially if CMC isn’t there. A great quarterback isn’t very useful without having great wide receivers and pass-catching running backs.

  32. I don’t think Watson is afraid of competition but I just don’t see him coming to the AFC and certainly not the AFC West. a lot of good quarterbacks in the NFC are either close to retirement or on their last legs. It’s not unreasonable to say that Watson will be the best quarterback in the NFC in a couple years. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan will be retiring. Matthew Stafford is getting older. In the AFC West there is Patrick Mahomes and now Justin Herbert. He’s not going to want to have to play those two quarterbacks four times a year in the quest of winning the West. Plus he would likely have to play at least one of them a third time in the playoffs. You also have Lamar Jackson in the AFC. I just think Watson’s road to a Super Bowl would be much smoother in the NFC. Long time Denver sportswriter Woody Paige has been adamant that he has insider information that Watson has no interest in coming to Denver. He wants to play and live in warm weather. I also think the Texans would want to trade Watson out of the AFC. If he goes to the NFC he would only play the Texans once every 4 years, so he would likely only play the Texans three times in his entire career.

  33. NFL players are highly competitive. Watson would love the chance to play against the Texans as much as possible, which is one reason why the Texans, if the do trade Watson, will trade him to the NFC.

  34. I have to believe that Kirk Cousins offers tremendous value to many teams and I really hope the Vikings land Watson. He is one of the truly elite quarterbacks capable of putting the entire offense on his shoulders, needing only a defense to keep the other teams points under 25-30.

  35. Know what would’ve helped them have more cap space for this? Not signing Bridgewater to that awful deal. How do some teams have so little foresight

  36. Blockbuster trades where one teams gives up a fortune in draft picks for a player hardly ever work. The Khalil Mack trade and the Julio Jones trade are rare exceptions, and even in those case you have to wonder who Chicago and Atlanta could have picked up instead with all of those picks. Furthermore, I can’t think of a single case where a blockbuster trade for a quaterback specifically has ever worked, unless you count the Chiefs getting Joe Montana for a couple years as a win for them (one could definitely make that case).

  37. I’m sure teams are making offers. The Texans will deny this. All teams will deny this. And then, if and when he is traded, it will be known.

  38. zimreapers says:
    February 20, 2021 at 1:28 pm
    I have to believe that Kirk Cousins offers tremendous value to many teams and I really hope the Vikings land Watson. He is one of the truly elite quarterbacks capable of putting the entire offense on his shoulders, needing only a defense to keep the other teams points under 25-30.
    With Kirk Cousins, the Vikings scored the second most Td’s in team history. The defense did not keep teams under 25-30. And they didn’t make the playoffs. What, you think with Watson the offense will now score 40 a game, and they will win it all? Watson replacing Cousins does not make the Vikings a SB team. A better O-line and D-line? That might give them a chance.

  39. Pretty sure Teddy just had a better record on carolina with a worse surrounding cast than deshaun even had in houston (both bottom 5).

  40. McCaffrey and 3 first round picks? That’s insane! The Panthers are not a win-now situation. They are not just a QB away.

  41. BUYER BEWARE. I’m looking at you Denver. Lock only has one full season under his belt. A season with basically no training camp. Give him some time and if necessary, go a different direction, any direction away from Watson.

  42. AFC teams I’d think have no wouldn’t wanna go up against ur former disgruntled qb..yikes !!!!

  43. I just read where Teddy has unfollowed the Panther’s and made his account private. Maybe there is something to all these rumors going around.

  44. Makes no sense for the Texans. No matter what the package is the Panthers are willing to give up, you’re going to have to trade up to #2 for your QB2 or trade up to #3 for you’re QB3. Watson has to go to the Jets or Dolphins

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.