The Carolina Panthers were one of the best teams in football last year, but their season ended abruptly with a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. While they may be stuck at quarterback for now, many believe that Dwayne Haskins will not be a fit for them either. Where do they go from here?
The “what team is deshaun watson on” is a question that has been asked many times in the past few days. It’s not too late to ask this question again, but it might be hard to find an answer.
The Carolina Panthers had a quarterback crisis entering into the 2021 summer, and the situation remains grave moving into 2022. The front office and general manager Scott Fitterer made a strong push for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, but they now must look at other choices.
In 2021, Carolina took a chance on Sam Darnold. While he seemed to be doing well at his new location for the first few weeks, his performance turned out to be fool’s gold. He isn’t the solution. If the Panthers want to be relevant again, they must address the position correctly this time.
This is a critical moment for the Panthers, whether they find the solution via trade, free agency, or the draft.
The Panthers are no longer a contender for Deshaun Watson.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold on the field before of their game against the Atlanta Falcons | David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images ; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson warms up before their game against the Tennessee Titans | Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Deshaun Watson’s acquisition has officially limited the field. The Carolina Panthers have entered the bidding for the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback. They will, however, have to choose a different path today.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Watson’s camp or the Texans informed the Panthers that they were out of the running. The Cleveland Browns are also no longer in contention.
The two surviving clubs are the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints. Watson’s contract includes a no-trade clause, meaning he has a say in where Houston deals him.
Regardless of the club he signs with, the Clemson product looks to be headed to the NFC South. Carolina will likely see him twice a year as a consequence, acting as a reminder of a possible squandered chance.
Carolina has to improve at quarterback because Sam Darnold isn’t a long-term solution.
Last year, Carolina had the 8th selection in a QB-heavy draft, but instead chose to trade for Sam Darnold.
They attempted unsuccessfully to trade for Deshaun Watson to replace Darnold this season.
Finding a franchise quarterback has proved to be a difficult task.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 18, 2022
After losing the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, the Carolina Panthers don’t have time to lick their wounds. They’ll have to start again since opening the 2022 NFL season with Sam Darnold at the helm isn’t ideal.
Carolina acquired Darnold from the New York Jets in exchange for three draft selections before the 2021 season. The No. 3 overall selection in 2018 took over as the starting quarterback in Week 1.
With a few strong performances to start the year, Darnold seemed to be prospering in his new home. He passed for 1,189 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions in Weeks 1 through 4, completing 67.8% of his throws. Darnold’s output dropped dramatically over the following few weeks.
Due to a shoulder injury, the fourth-year quarterback missed five games, but it’s unclear whether he really provided the Panthers the greatest opportunity to win. In the meanwhile, Carolina resorted to Cam Newton and P.J. Walker, but neither player was able to take over the position.
In Carolina, there is a big vacancy at the quarterback position. The front desk has tossed a few darts, but none have landed.
Targets that might be acquired via a trade, free agency, or the NFL Draft
The Panthers are now looking at the next QB choices.
Baker Mayfield, anyone? What’s up, Jimmy G? What if you were the No. 6 overall pick? Jameis? Mariota?
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) March 18, 2022
The Carolina Panthers may have a lot to look forward to in the coming days and weeks. David Tepper, Scott Fitterer, and Matt Rhule are on the lookout for a franchise quarterback who can turn the franchise around. Regrettably, the pickings are becoming thinner by the day.
Deshaun Watson is no longer in the mix. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, and Carson Wentz are no longer available as free agents. So, what’s next for the Panthers?
Right now, the free-agent market is quite limited, with just Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and Ryan Fitzpatrick as realistic choices.
Jimmy Garoppolo might be available in a deal. The San Francisco 49ers, on the other hand, may not be prepared to pay the quarterback what he demands. Baker Mayfield has asked for a trade, but will the Cleveland Browns grant his request?
The Panthers hold the sixth overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. They might choose a high-upside player like Malik Willis or wait until later in the round to trade back.
What the front office has up its sleeve is unknown, but it better have something, or it might be another difficult year.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
Deshaun Watson might be blamed for the Miami Dolphins’ inability to sign free agents.
Frequently Asked Questions
What did the Browns give up for Deshaun?
A: The Cleveland Browns traded the picks they received from their trade with Houston for Deshaun Watson.
What did the Texans get for Deshaun Watson?
A: The Texans traded Deshaun Watson to the New England Patriots for a first-round pick in 2020.
Does Deshaun Watson have a no-trade clause?
A: There is no such thing as a trade clause in the NFL, but you can ask your question on my Facebook or Twitter.
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