1. The NY Jets could trade Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers
No team has been more aggressively exploring the quarterback market this offseason than the Carolina Panthers. Unfortunately, their aggressiveness has been all for naught to this point.
They were reportedly one of two finalists for Matthew Stafford even offering up the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft before the Los Angeles Rams came in and stole him away.
They’ve been one of the teams most intrigued by the Deshaun Watson situation, but given recent developments, it’s hard to imagine that’s resolved any time soon.
And after the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 overall pick, their options are running incredibly thin. Quarterbacks will likely fly off the board with the first three picks, and there’s no chance their division-rival Atlanta Falcons allow them to trade up to No. 4.
They might miss out on the top quarterbacks in the draft. The Panthers are desperate — even more desperate than the Bears. And that desperation could drive them to Sam Darnold.
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Darnold wouldn’t be their first choice, but he would give them a quarterback with a bit more upside than incumbent starter Teddy Bridgewater. That’s really all the Panthers are looking for at this point.
And if Darnold doesn’t pan out, the Panthers could pivot to next offseason when the Watson situation could ultimately be resolved, assuming there are no major legal implications.
Owner David Tepper has reportedly been enamored by the possibility of trading for Watson and they seemed prime to make an overly aggressive push for the All-Pro quarterback before recent allegations surfaced.
Darnold could be the perfect blend between a possible bridge quarterback and young QB with upside that Carolina is in search of.
Again, he clearly wouldn’t be their first choice. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
And the Panthers are certainly desperate.