Earlier this offseason, Deshaun Watson was one of the most mentioned names in potential NFL trade rumors. However, after over 20 lawsuits were filed against the Houston Texans quarterback, alleging sexual harassment and assault, trade talk has subsided.
Although that’s the case as of early April, NBC Sports Peter King isn’t ready to rule out one team’s interest in Watson.
The Carolina Panthers made a major move earlier this month to acquire New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, but still might be in the Watson sweepstakes, according to King. The NFC South organization had expressed serious interest prior to start of the 25-year-old’s legal issues and might re-engage if he was to be exonerated.
Here’s more from King’s latest Football Morning in America column:
“I think it’s possible that the Panthers could still be in the Deshaun Watson derby, when/if his legal troubles go away. But I don’t think the Panthers are willing to do what Houston would want, and that is to find a partner to make a Herschel Walker trade. (In 1989, the Cowboys traded Walker, the star running back, to Minnesota in a complex trade for three first-round picks, three second-round picks and some middling players. There were other, lesser picks plus a later trade between the teams, but Dallas got picks to be able to draft Super Bowl keystones Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson, among others.)
“It’s more likely that Carolina sticks with Darnold for the next two years to see if he can become the quarterback the Jets drafted him to be in 2018—a good downfield thrower to match with Robbie Anderson and D.J. Moore. At USC, Darnold did show a good deep arm (8.5 yards per attempt), but the combination of a terrible offensive line, lousy receivers and his own poor decision-making led to a disastrous three-year run. A trade was best for all parties.”
Football Morning In America is up! In the column:
💥 20 QB decisions shaping this NFL offseason, draft
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💥 Yellow labs, 10 Things, Quotes + much morehttps://t.co/Sufk5YMBW6 pic.twitter.com/u7YmqwqAEj
— Peter King (@peter_king) April 12, 2021
Just last week, after the trade, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer reiterated that the deal for Darnold won’t take Carolina out of the running for a quarterback at the NFL Draft.
It looks like the Panthers are trying their best to cover all of their bases prior to the start of the regular season. At this point, Darnold seems poised to handle the starting responsibilities, but plenty of eyes will be on Carolina throughout the rest of the summer.