Report: Panthers willing to trade Christian McCaffrey in deal for Deshaun Watson

If you’re surprised that the Carolina Panthers may now be back in for Deshaun Watson, then you probably haven’t been paying attention.

A report on Friday night from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports suggests the Panthers are still in pursuit of the Houston Texans quarterback, noting that a trade “remains a priority ahead of Tuesday’s deadline” for team owner David Tepper. And they’re so in, in fact, that their superstar running back may be on the table.

“League sources said the Panthers are willing to part with three high picks and All Pro running back Christian McCaffrey in a package for Watson; the Texans are very high on several of the Panthers’ young defensive standouts (still on their rookie contracts and younger and cheaper than McCaffrey), and the sides have yet to reach a compromise,” La Canfora writes.

This latest bit comes just two days after the Panthers, according to numerous outlets, abandoned the race for Watson. Houston’s asking price and Carolina’s inability to meet with the 26-year-old quarterback, who is currently facing 22 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct, were reportedly the deciding factors.

La Canfora adds the Panthers have a few advantages over the Miami Dolphins, including their appealing crop of young defenders.

“The Panthers have more proven young talent than the Dolphins, one other factor that could lead to them, and not Miami, landing Watson. Panthers executive Steven Drummond is very close with Texans top exec Jack Easterby, the Texans would prefer to ship Watson to the NFC, all things being equal, and Tepper’s motivation to land Watson should not be overlooked. He has made it clear throughout his organization for some time that he covets the Texans’ franchise QB, he is looking to expand the Panthers as a regional brand deeper into South Carolina, and believes that adding Clemson star players could help in that cause.”

Whether this potential development holds water or is just a game of chicken being played through the media between Houston and Miami, the Panthers are very much in the market for a passer. We’ll know in a few days where this seesaw is actually tipping.


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