The Panthers engaged in trade talks with the Houston Texans about Deshaun Watson over the past few days, but have since pulled themselves out, two sources with direct knowledge told The Observer.
Among the Panthers’ concerns was Watson’s legal situation, and how much the Texans wanted for him, one source said. So for now, they are no longer involved but could re-engage at a later date. The NFL’s trade deadline is Nov. 2.
It is unclear how much the Texans wanted from the Panthers, but it likely included at least three first-round draft picks and more.
Watson, who is involved in 22 different civil lawsuits from women alleging that he exhibited inappropriate behavior with multiple massage therapists, has not played in a single game this season.
While NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday night that the NFL, which is investigating the allegations against Watson, does not have enough information to put him on the commissioner’s exempt list, trading for him still has its risks.
Watson’s lawyer has denied all wrongdoing.
Sam Darnold, in his first season with the Panthers after being traded from the Jets in the offseason, has struggled in October. He has eight turnovers over the past four games and the Panthers (3-4) have lost all four of those games. Star running back Christian McCaffrey has been out for all of those games and is on injured reserve.
Panthers coach Matt Rhule has said Darnold is the starter for Week 8.