Because of that, La Canfora says not to count the Panthers out of any potential Watson sweepstakes even though they don’t have the cache of draft picks that other teams have.
La Canfora explains he’s been told that Tepper is over having game-manager types at quarterback like Carolina has been saddled with the past couple years, including an injured Cam Newton, Kyle Allen and Teddy Bridgewater.
He’s made it clear to confidantes that he thinks the surest way to success in the NFL is by adding an elite-level quarterback — and La Canfora notes Watson would appear to be that guy.
Tepper is one of if not the richest owner in the NFL with an estimated worth of $12 billion and he’s already shown a willingness to hurl resources to enact his vision for the franchise, from a new practice facility in South Carolina to nuking the market for new head coaches with Matt Rhule‘s contract.
As for Watson, he has some roots in the area after playing his college ball at Clemson which would appeal to Tepper. La Canfora says his expectation is Tepper wouldn’t shy away from offering three first-round picks and potentially another foundation piece like RB Christian McCaffrey or DE Brian Burns, though he clarifies negotiations have not gotten to the point where those players have been offered.
The latest word on Watson is that he and the Texans are dug in deep on their respective trade stances, with Houston maintaining there’s zero chance of a trade and Watson resolute never to play for them again.
Watson, 25, 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.