Deshaun Watson trade rumors have started heating way up on Wednesday, with a number of folks indicating that he could be on his way to the Miami Dolphins, at long last. Earlier in the year, the Carolina Panthers were among the teams that many penciled in as a potential Watson landing spot.
The Panthers did make a quarterback trade in the offseason, though a less splashy one. Matt Rhule and his team brought in former New York Jets first-round pick Sam Darnold, as something of a reclamation project.
So far, his numbers are pretty similar to what he was doing in New York. He’s completing 61.2-percent of his throws for 1,573 yards (7.0 yards per attempt), seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Some of those numbers are career highs, or very close, but not by a lot. From a football standpoint, it’s hard to argue that Watson wouldn’t be a huge upgrade, but the Watson situation presents far more than just football concerns, with the ongoing investigation into the numerous complaints of sexual misconduct against the Houston Texans QB.
When asked if a deal was on the table, Rhule, the Panthers head coach, deflected. “I believe Sam (Darnold) is going to be a great quarterback for the Carolina Panthers,” he said. “I’m bought in on Sam.”
Matt Rhule on if the Panthers are interested in Deshaun Watson: “I believe Sam (Darnold) is going to be a great quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. I’m bought in on Sam.”
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) October 21, 2021
Things can certainly change, but that doesn’t sound like a coach ready to make a giant move to add a player like Deshaun Watson. Any Watson deal would come with major risks, until his legal situation is resolved.
Right now, he is not suspended by the league, but the Texans have made the decision not to play him, and are moving on without him. There has to be concern that a Watson trade would spur action by the NFL, as convoluted as that may seem, since the league has punted on doing so to this point.
The NFL Trade Deadline rolls around at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 2.