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Panthers remain interested in Deshaun Watson

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 12: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans walks off the field after the 51-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

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Last year, the Panthers were willing to trade for Deshaun Watson despite unresolved criminal and civil cases. Watson, however, would waive his no-trade clause only for the Dolphins.

This year, with the door shut on a trade to Miami, the Panthers are back on the scene.

Via Jonathan M. Alexander of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers have been in contact with the Texans, and the Panthers have done their due diligence. However, a final decision has not yet been made.

Per the report, the Panthers believe they’ll have to surrender at least three first-round picks, another draft pick, and a young player or two. Alexander writes that the players would include safety Jeremy Chinn, defensive end Brian Burns, defensive tackle Derrick Brown, and/or cornerback Jaycee Horn.

It’s unknown whether Watson would waive his no-trade clause for the Panthers. Coach Matt Rhule is currently believed to be on the hot seat entering 2022, raising the possibility that the Panthers could be looking for a new coach in what would be Watson’s second season.

Ultimately, the decision may come down to the other teams that want Watson, and how he feels about those other teams.

Before any of that becomes relevant, he needs to emerge from the grand jury procedure with no felony charges. We could learn the answer to that one as soon as Friday.