Deshaun Watson is the biggest name on the trade market right now. The Panthers know Watson’s value, and made a series of interesting moves.
The team just let go of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short, defensive end Stephen Weatherly, safety Tre Boston, and punter Michael Palardy which cleared $28.473 million in cap space. The Panthers current quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, did not take lightly to these moves.
He seemingly unfollowed the Panthers’ social media accounts and made his Instagram profile private:
Here we go — Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater has unfollowed his team on some social media accounts.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) February 21, 2021
If the Panthers were to trade Bridgewater away, they would have the needed cap space to bring Deshaun Watson in. That combined with the other moves they made strongly indicate that Carolina is going all in for the Texans superstar.
How Would a Deshaun Watson Trade to the Panthers Look Like?
The Panthers have a lot of notable assets which they could flip away for Deshaun Watson. Of course, the biggest name on their roster is Christian McCaffrey, their All Pro running back. Last year, CMC was only active for three games as he suffered multiple injuries, but there’s no denying his talent.
Prior to his injury, McCaffrey was averaging 75 rushing yards per game and 49.7 receiving yards per game, showing his dual threat ability. Of course, the 2019-20 NFL season is where CMC truly shined as he ran for 1,387 yards and caught 116 passes for 1,005 yards.
The Texans had a horrific ground game last year as David Johnson failed to pan out from the DeAndre Hopkins trade, and thus CMC definitely makes for an exciting trade piece. However, if Carolina does trade for Watson, then they’d likely want to keep McCaffrey around.
The plan is to build around Watson, and by trading CMC away, the Panthers would be losing out on a potential lethal QB-RB combo. Thus, trade packages are likely to avoid McCaffrey. Instead, the Panthers will more than willingly trade quarterback Teddy Bridgewater away.
However, who knows if any of this is a certainty. If the Panthers get desperate, they may be willing to put all their chips on the table:
According to Panthers beat reporter and ESPN insider @DNewtonespn, the Panthers are preparing to make a strong push for Deshaun Watson and “will do whatever it takes to get Deshaun Watson, and that includes giving up three first-round draft picks and Christian McCaffrey.” 👀
— Dave Kluge (@DaveKluge_FF) February 16, 2021
Teddy Bridgewater for Watson?
The Panthers definitely won’t be able to get away with just trading Bridgewater away. They have several picks to offer, including the number 8 overall pick this year.
That might be enough to persuade the Texans as they would get the opportunity to draft a new quarterback like Justin Fields or Mac Jones.
The Texans traded away their first round pick this year, and thus, having the 8th overall pick would be a huge plus for them. The Panthers would also “at least” have to include one more first round pick in the future along with a defensive player like Derrick Brown. There are a lot of options, and it remains interesting to see how the Panthers go about making Deshaun Watson a reality.
Watson back in Carolina? You never know as this offseason shapes up to be a wild one.
— Horace Wangmanger (@wangmanger) February 21, 2021