The Panthers, from an assets standpoint, shouldn’t be viewed as the favorites to acquire Deshaun Watson. Other teams, like the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, have the resources to put together more appealing offers.
But Carolina might have something the rest of the competition doesn’t.
As the Watson saga in Houston has unfolded, the football world has learned about the borderline scary amount of power Jack Easterby appears to have within the Texans organization. It just so happens Easterby reportedly is close with a member of the Panthers front office.
“League sources said Texans executive Jack Easterby â whose influence and import in that organization has only growing the past six months despite whatever is said or written about him â has a very close relationship with Panthers exec Steven Drummond, who has risen in that organization to great heights since Tepper took over,” CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora wrote in a recent column.
“Sources said that Drummond was under consideration for the Texans team president opening before quickly getting promoted again by Tepper â from a senior communications position to senior advisor to chairman in early February. Both of these young fast-risers have their owner’s ear in a way not too many in this industry do, and their working relationship is a dynamic to watch, should the Texans truly hold an auction for their star QB (which many around the NFL believe they will do at some point before the draft).
“They might be able to get pretty creative and help each other out at the same time.”
Further strengthening Carolina’s hopes of landing Watson is the fact that the franchise reportedly is willing to do “whatever it takes” to land the superstar signal-caller. This includes adding Christian McCaffrey — one of the game’s premier running backs — in a potential trade package.
Of course, the Panthers cannot fully embark on their Watson pursuit until the Texans make him available — a bridge that apparently has yet to be crossed. But should Houston start taking calls on Watson, Carolina should be a legitimate threat to acquire the three-time Pro Bowl selection.