Would a Panthers trade for Deshaun Watson include Christian McCaffrey?

USA Today Sports

It started as a “bold prediction” that morphed into a vague sort of report that provided ESPN a week’s worth of content. The possibility of the transaction still lingers. Ultimately, however, would the Panthers include running back Christian McCaffrey in a trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson?

The Panthers just signed McCaffrey to a long-term deal last year, giving him a $21.5 million signing bonus. Trading him now would trigger a $17.2 million cap charge. With Watson making only $10.54 million in 2021, McCaffrey would actually chew up $6.66 million more cap space than Watson next season.

The Panthers would take another $10 million cap charge for trading Teddy Bridgewater before June 2, based on the $15 million signing bonus he received last year on a three-year deal. That’s $27.2 million in dead money tied to trading for Watson, if McCaffrey would indeed be part of the deal.

The other question becomes whether the Texans would want McCaffrey. New G.M. Nick Caserio comes from a place where running backs were jammed into a revolving door, with no workhorse at the position. Caserio may not be inclined to put all running back eggs in McCaffrey’s basket.

So it continues to seem unlikely that McCaffrey will be part of any trade for Watson. But the possibility of McCaffrey being shipped to Houston hasn’t gone away — and likely won’t until Watson is, or isn’t, traded to the Panthers.

11 responses to “Would a Panthers trade for Deshaun Watson include Christian McCaffrey?

  1. Would be stupid on the Texans part but we are getting used to that. McCaffery will be an ordinary back in a year and close to being out of the league. His contract is awful and will struggle to say on the field.

  2. Don’t the Texans have a highly paid RB under contract in David Johnson on the team already? McCaffery is leagues above DJ in terms of skill, but there’s no way the Texans take on another huge RB contract as well, is there?

  3. Doubtful but probably not a terrible idea. As good as McCaffrey is he’s hurt a lot and RBs tend to have a very short shelf life. Plus they’ve never won even when he was healthy putting up huge numbers. Moving him would save them a ton of money that could be used elsewhere and it’d give Houston the big name return so they could spin it that they won the trade.

  4. cheaptrix12, David Johnson can be cut to save $6.4 million against the cap. And he should be cut because he’s terrible.

  5. Cousins AND Gritty, plus Vikings 1st this year and next for Watson.

    They get an ascending WR not even in his prime yet, plus a win now QB that can prevent the locals from tuning out completely, a couple of 1’s to replace Watson and the Vikings get a Franchise QB.

  6. If McCaffery is used properly from now on…RB, in motion, in the slot, split wide, then he could have a long and continued highly productive career, as opposed to using him as a workhorse RB.
    I don’t see Carolina moving him…

  7. Texans would be stupid not to get a replacement for Watson in a trade. That means NYJ or MIA as a likely partner as they could draft one. Or, take Tua if they think he can succeed.

    Carolina just doesn’t seem to have a lot to give in order to get Watson.

  8. No thanks. CMC is a phenomenal talent, but you are acquiring a star RB who has already entered his second contract. The likelihood of getting maximum value out of him is slim. So you’re trading a franchise QB entering the prime of his career for a RB who may only have a few years left, plus picks. Doesn’t seem like a good idea.

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