Alexander says sources told him Carolina hasn’t been involved in any recent trade talks for the quarterback. According to Person, the Panthers have discussed Watson with Houston but sources characterized those as not substantial.
Carolina was interested in Watson earlier this offseason, but pivoted to Sam Darnold after the former’s legal situation complicated matters. While Darnold has not played well in recent weeks, Person says the Panthers continue to view Watson’s status as an impediment to a trade, particularly given the Texans’ asking price.
The two added that the teams were optimistic a deal could be hammered out this week, otherwise they have until the NFL trade deadline on November 2.
According to The Athletic in a follow-up report, the Texans have had recent trade talks with the Dolphins, Panthers and Eagles, but the level of seriousness regarding these discussions ranged from casual conversations to actual trade negotiations.
Houston is reportedly seeking three first-round draft picks and two or three more assets that can consist of players and/or picks.
It’s worth mentioning that Watson’s contract includes a no-trade clause, so he can direct a trade to some degree.
The NFL is still investigating the allegations against Watson, who faces 22 active civil lawsuits accusing of him sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Watson has denied any wrongdoing.
Watson, 26, was taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft out of Clemson by the Texans. He signed a four-year, $13.854 million with the Texans that included a fifth-year option around $17.3 million for the 2021 season.
The Texans signed Watson to a four-year deal worth as much as $177 million heading into the 2020 season, paying him $39 million a year.
In 2020, Watson appeared in all 16 games for the Texans and completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 4,823 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 444 yards and three touchdowns.
We’ll have more on Watson as the news is available.