When the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold during the off-season, it was widely viewed as a temporary move. And now that Carolina has lost four straight games, Rhule could already be desperate for a replacement. Insert Watson? Not so fast.
Rhule, as you’d expect, shot down the Watson rumors on Monday and reaffirmed Darnold as his quarterback.
“You guys know that wasn’t from me,” Rhule said regarding the Watson report. “I have nothing to add to that. My focus is on this team.”
#Panthers HC Matt Rhule on Deshaun Watson reports: “You guys know that wasn’t from me. I have nothing to add to that. My focus is on this team.”
— Nick Carboni (@NickCarboniWCNC) October 25, 2021
It’s worth noting Matt Rhule – or any head coach for that matter – wouldn’t say anything different in this scenario. The last thing he wants to do is destroy Sam Darnold’s already-low confidence. And he doesn’t want to show his hand if the Panthers are, indeed, interested in Deshaun Watson.
The Panthers are one of those teams ready to make a move in the NFC, but must upgrade at quarterback to do so. Watson, who hasn’t played a single snap this season, is still widely viewed as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and is more than capable of leading a team like the Panthers to the postseason.
For now, Rhule is sticking with his man in Darnold. But that could be just a smokescreen. Carolina would be foolish to not try and pursue a player like Watson.