Guessing on the Panthers’ ‘aggressive’ trading offer

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The Panthers are reportedly ready to make a big bid for Deshaun Watson. This is what Carolina’s trade package might look like.

The latest news that Deshaun Watson will not be charged with criminal charges following a series of allegations of sexual assault has immediately heated up his trading market to a boiling point. The Carolina Panthers are a franchise that is ready to make a great offer to the Texans.

Sources have already told ESPN that the Panthers are ready to make an “aggressive” offer to the talented quarterback. There is still uncertainty as to whether Watson will face league discipline by next year, but Carolina has done a lot of due diligence regarding the player’s off-field issues and is reportedly familiar with what lies ahead.

The challenge facing the Panthers is to try to meet the Texans’ bid price after already giving up valuable working capital in last year’s disastrous trade to land Sam Darnold. If Carolina are to pick up Watson to replace Darnold, they’ll have to be creative.

That creativity will largely lie in the involvement of players to increase the choices required to win the race to land Watson. Carolina has some big name stars that they might be willing to part with to solve their quarterback task.

A smart bet available to the Panthers would be to offer Christian McCaffrey as the “headline” for any potential Watson trade package. Some Carolina officials have grown tired of the unbridled running backs recent injury problems. Sending him to Houston would allow the Panthers to lose some pay. The Texans could also sell the addition of McCaffrey to their fans as a clear signal that they are trying to build around Davis Mills right away.

Panthers get

Deshaun Watson

Texans few

Christian McCaffrey

Robby Andersen

2022 first round election (No. 6)

2023 first round election

Another player who could go to Houston is wide receiver Robby Anderson. The Panthers signed him a good deal in free agency last season, but he was largely anonymous on the field in 2021. He will not be considered a big positive by the Texans, but acquiring him would be more proof to the team’s fanbase that this deal did not only about the future.

Of course, the main effort in any package must be magnificent capital. The Panthers would have to sacrifice their first-round pick this year. Even if McCaffrey is included in the package, it could be argued that the overall number 6 would be the crown jewel on the way to Houston.

Carolina also needs to offer their first-round pick in 2023 to complete the deal. The general idea here is that the Panthers would give up two actual first-rounders with McCaffrey serving instead of the third first-round pick that the Texans would ask other teams about. Anderson’s inclusion in the deal would be the icing on the cake. Time will tell whether Houston feels it can do better than this theoretical offer from the Panthers.

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