Aside from the Miami Dolphins, the Carolina Panthers have been of the other teams linked to a possible Deshaun Watson trade in recent months as the Sam Darnold experiment has led to four consecutive losses.
On Saturday, social media was buzzing after a blockbuster trade rumor that involved the Houston Texans quarterback and the Panthers was floated and it included star running back Christian McCaffrey.
According to CBS Sports, the Panthers were willing to trade McCaffrey and three high draft picks. However, Panthers insider Joe Person disputed these reports, saying the Panthers front office did talk to the Texans this week, but are not expected to make a deal before the deadline.
The Athletic also reported McCaffrey wasn’t part of any trade when the Carolina organization re-engaged with Houston.
“The only reason that [the Panthers owner] doesn’t have Watson already is that the price is too high,” one unnamed source told CBS Sports. “That’s it. He’s wanted him for a long time. And there is still a lot of time between now and Tuesday. His patience is wearing thin.”
The price for Watson, who is facing 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault, is set at three first-round picks plus two additional picks, FOX’s NFL insider Jay Glazer said last week.
McCaffrey was injured during the third game of the season. He’s only played six games over the last two years. McCaffrey signed a four-year, $64 million contract in April 2020 that, Pro Football Talk reported, would trigger an $18.5 million cap charge in 2022 if he is traded.
The 26-year-old Watson, who has not played in 2021, would arrive with a $35 million salary for next season, when the Panthers also have nearly $19 million fully guaranteed to Sam Darnold.