The Panthers may eventually make a move for Deshaun Watson. It won’t happen before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Per a source with direct knowledge of the team’s thinking, the Panthers have no plans to pursue the Texans quarterback before Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. The source also explained that the Panthers never offered or considered offering running back Christian McCaffrey as part of a trade package.
This directly contradicts the key aspects of Friday’s report from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. He claimed that acquiring Watson remains “a priority” for owner David Tepper, and that the team was prepared to offer McCaffrey in order to get it done. (La Canfora, we’re told, did not seek comment from the Panthers before publishing his story.)
While “no plans” necessarily leaves the door open for a deal, a lot would have to happen at this point. First, Watson would have to want to play for the Panthers, and he currently does not. (La Canfora’s item ignores Watson’s no-trade clause.) Second, the Panthers and Texans would have to work out a deal. Third, the Panthers presumably would want to do a little more homework on Watson before pulling the trigger, including for example sitting down with him for a conversation. There’s not much time, and the clock keeps ticking (as it always does).
This doesn’t mean the Panthers won’t resurface as a potential Watson suitor in the offseason, if the Dolphins and Texans can’t land the plane before Tuesday afternoon.