Deshaun Watson Trade Rumors: Panthers Eye QB with Owner Tired of Game-Managers

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIFebruary 17, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) reacts to a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Carolina Panthers chairman David Tepper has a strong desire to acquire quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. 

Tepper is reportedly exhausted with starting a "game-manager" at QB and believes Watson is solution. The Texans have been reluctant to engage in trade discussions for their franchise player, who has made clear he wants out, instead hoping to fix their relationship with Watson as new general manager Nick Caserio and head coach David Culley begin their tenure in Houston. 

The Panthers currently list Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker and Will Grier at quarterback. 

Per La Canfora:

"Tepper, sources said, is over having to watch his team operate with Cam Newton navigating through injuries, or Kyle Allen trying to display he is more than a lower-tier backup, or Teddy Bridgewater dink-and-dunk and protect the football, with clear limitations as to how bold and adventurous a downfield attack would be.

"Now, entering his fourth season at the helm, and having spent the majority of his time as a Steelers minority investor watching Ben Roethlisberger play the position with abandon and cunning on his way to a Hall of Fame career, Tepper is done with the caretaker, band-aid, we'll see model of quarterback. He's made it clear to those in the organization, and to his confidants around the NFL, that he wants desperately to upgrade into the penthouse of quarterbacks, believing it to be the most critical element to elevating the team to the heights – both in the standings and financially – that he seeks to soar.

"And Watson, sources said, is far and away his guy."

Bridgewater signed a three-year, $63 million deal in Carolina last offseason. He passed for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 starts in 2020 while the Panthers went 5-11 and finished third in the NFC South. 

Tepper, La Canfora reported, is willing to part with future first-round picks to get Watson—including the No. 8 overall pick in this year's draft. 

If a blockbuster deal for the disgruntled Texans QB exists, the Panthers want to make sure they are in on the action.