Report: David Tepper would include Christian McCaffrey in Deshaun Watson package

Carolina Panthers v Houston Texans
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As of last Sunday, the Panthers had a real chance at getting quarterback Deshaun Watson. More recently, the Panthers have faded as a potential destination, to the point where the team put out word to multiple reporters on Wednesday that they were never even in it. The team’s owner, however, reportedly hasn’t given up on.

Jason La Canfora of reports that David Tepper still wants to acquire Watson. La Canfora also reports, far too nonchalantly, that the Panthers are willing to include running back Christian McCaffrey in the trade package.

La Canfora quotes an unnamed source in support of his contention that Tepper remains intent on getting Watson. “The only reason that he doesn’t have Watson already is that the price is too high,” the source told La Canfora. “That’s it. He’s wanted him for a long time. And there is still a lot of time between now and Tuesday. His patience is wearing thin.”

That quote doesn’t accurately reflect the current circumstances, however. The asking price isn’t “the only reason” the trade hasn’t occurred. Watson also would have to waive his no-trade clause for the Panthers. For now, Watson wants Miami and only Miami.

La Canfora’s article never even mentions the no-trade clause. The article also doesn’t even mention the extremely significant financial consequences of doing a deal that would include getting Watson and giving up McCaffrey.

First, trading McCaffrey would trigger a cap charge of $18.5 million in 2022. Second, Watson would arrive with a fully-guaranteed base salary of $35 million in 2022. Third, current quarterback Sam Darnold has a fully-guaranteed base salary of $18.858 million for 2022.

That’s more than $72 million in 2022 cap dollars. That’s more than enough to make McCaffrey not a realistic factor, at all.

Then there’s the question of whether the Texans should want McCaffrey, or whether McCaffrey should want the Texans. He has played sparingly since signing his latest deal, due to injuries that aren’t his fault but that are inherent to the risks of the position. That said, the balance of McCaffrey’s contract has a manageable salary of $8.4 million for 2022. In 2023, the salary moves to $11.8 million. He gets the same amount in 2024, with a bump to $12 million in 2025, the final year of the deal.

Regardless, the Texans currently are shiftless and, in many respects, dysfunctional. Why would McCaffrey want to go from an average-at-best team to one of the worst in the league?

This doesn’t mean the Panthers have zero chance of getting Watson. That said, much would have to change in the next three days for it to happen. For starters, the Texans and Dolphins would have to fail to land the plane on a trade. Then, the Texans and Panthers would have to figure out an acceptable deal. Finally, Watson would have to be persuaded to embrace a trade to Carolina in lieu of sitting out the rest of the season and perhaps landing in Miami when March 2022 rolls around.

UPDATE 10:58 a.m. ET: A source with direct knowledge of the team’s thinking says that the Panthers have no plans to pursue Watson before the trade deadline, and that offering McCaffrey has never been considered.

22 responses to “Report: David Tepper would include Christian McCaffrey in Deshaun Watson package

  1. As a Panthers fan we desperately need a QB, but please don’t do this deal. If one or two women were making accusations I’d feel uncomfortable thinking this might be a money grab…..but 22 women? Something’s not right, please Tepper don’t take this bait.

  2. These are 3 teams that haven’t amounted to much for nearly a half century. This strange negotiation indicates why.

  3. How about a 3 way. Niners get McCaffrey, Jimmy G to Houston, Watson to Carolina, plus Houston gets 2 first rounders from Carolina and a bag of donuts

  4. In all these articles about trading Watson I’ve never once seen you mention the cap hit to the Texans that would occur. He recently signed a huge contract with Houston. There has to be a massive cap hit involved in trading him.

    What is the cap hit to the Texans for trading Watson?

  5. Any owner who decides to give up that much for a guy with some serious issues has no business being an owner.

  6. Why would a team/city invite a man of such questionable character into their community? Where are the female fans in these forums or do they not exist? I see them in the stands on TV, why are they not weighing in on this?

  7. I understand packaging CMC, never shouldve paid him that much to begin with and obviously injured prone now, but for Watson and those allegations and the demands from Houston? Pass!!!

  8. “As a Panthers fan, we desperately need a quarterback…” No you don’t, be patient-build around 24 year-old Sam Darnold. A healthy Christian McCaffrey and many fewer drops by the receivers, and the offense will roll.

  9. razzlejag says:
    October 30, 2021 at 10:29 am
    Why would a team/city invite a man of such questionable character into their community? Where are the female fans in these forums or do they not exist? I see them in the stands on TV, why are they not weighing in on this?


    Winning at any cost!! That’s what matters most to NFL fans.

  10. I love all this speculation about the Panthers and Dolphins trading for Watson. The fact is these are literally rumors. I GUARANTEE no team is going to do this Trade. Even if the legal baggage was not an issue, the salary and draft ransom is too much for any player. Yes, the Panthers need a QB and the Dolphins aren’t sure if Tua is the guy, but both teams have other issues that a stud QB won’t fix. All the local beat writers make this stuff up. I am sure many teams called the Texans to listen, but the Texans are screwed and they know it. It is more likely that Watson doesn’t play a snap for a few years.

  11. What an idiotic thing to say! Wow! Now McCaffrey knows he is expendable.

    Nice contract there, too, dopey Tepper. Rhule denied wanting Watson this past week!

  12. It’s mystifying why these coaches, gm’s, and owners talk as much as they do. Loose lips sink ships.

  13. Everyone just assumes that negotiations are only between the teams and Watson. Negotiations can occur between all the parties involved: lawyers for the women, the prosecutor, the teams and Goodell. Each side would have to give up something so that each could get something. For example:
    1. Watson could agree to pay, and the women agree to accept, a healthy sum of money. That’s what civil litigation is all about. The women agree not to prosecute any criminal case.
    2. Watson agrees to plead guilty to one or more misdemeanor “inappropriate touching” charges, Prosecutor agrees to recommend probation, say three years, served concurrently.
    3. Goodell agrees to a Dan Snyder style punishment, say, a hefty fine of $10 million plus a half season away from football for Watson, which he’s already done.
    4. All legal obstacles out of the way, Tepper and/or Ross cut their deal with the Texans.

    A good mediator could work this out for all parties.

  14. How does La Canfora have a job? Another article of throwing something against the wall to see if it will stick. Guaranteed it was leaked by a Texans insider in a desperate effort to try to drum up urgency before the deadline. Watson isn’t going anywhere.

  15. If I worked in the Panthers PR or marketing departments, I’d be looking for another job. This would be a nightmare of epic proportions.

  16. Absurd. He good but not that good. Absolute buffoonery to even think this let alone print it.

  17. I bet he would. Since he got that new contract he hasn’t done anything but get hurt and sit out games.

  18. MortimerInMiami says:
    October 30, 2021 at 10:47 am
    Dolphin fans praying he goes to Carolina.

    Tua is more accurate anyway.
    Pretty easy to be accurate when all you throw (and all you can throw) is three yard outs….

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