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Panthers Emerge as the Favorites to Be Deshaun Watson’s Next Team in Latest Odds

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Jan 19, 2021 · 3:52 PM PST

Deshaun Watson
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) carries the ball on a run during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
  • The Carolina Panthers have emerged as the +625 favorites to land quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans
  • Though he hasn’t formally requested a trade, Watson’s unhappiness with the Texans is well documented
  • Other teams with short odds include the Miami Dolphins (+650), New York Jets (+700), and Atlanta Falcons (+775)

Is Deshaun Watson following the lead of James Taylor and going to Carolina? In the minds of oddsmakers, yes he is.

The Panthers are the new betting favorite to be the next team of disgruntled Houston Texans quarterback Watson if he is in fact moved elsewhere.

The New York Jets, who own the second pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the Miami Dolphins, who hold multiple first-round draft picks, are other logical suitors.

Watson is making no secret of his unhappiness with the culture and direction of the Texans.

Odds on Deshaun Watson’s Next Team NFL Team if Traded

Team Odds
Carolina Panthers +625
Miami Dolphins +650
New York Jets +700
Atlanta Falcons +775
Denver Broncos +825
Las Vegas Raiders +850
New Orleans Saints +900
New England Patriots +925
Chicago Bears +1000
San Francisco 49ers +1000
Los Angeles Rams +1500
Detroit Lions +1800

Odds as of Jan. 19th.

However, it’s also noteworthy that he’s made no formal trade request. As well, Texans owner Cal McNair isn’t expressing a desire to move Watson to another club.

Remember also that Watson holds a no-movement clause, so he’s calling the shots.

Panthers The Surprising Chalk

In his first campaign as a full-time NFL starter since 2015, Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater’s numbers weren’t exactly eye popping. He threw for just 15 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. His passer rating (92.1) and QBR (64.1) don’t jump off the page.

Bridgewater was 24th in TD passes and 17th in passing yardage (3,557). Don’t forget, too, that the Panthers were a dismal 5-11.


Panthers owner David Tepper is willing to make bold moves. He walked away from former MVP Cam Newton last season.

Bridgewater shows one year remaining on his contract. Bringing Watson in to team with running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receivers Robby Anderson and DJ Moore suddenly gives Carolina the assembly of an offense that could make real noise.

Don’t Discount Dolphins

Miami was the +215 chalk when the first betting market regarding a future Watson home opened last week. The Dolphins can offer one of the better potential packages for Watson’s services.

Miami has the #3 overall pick in the draft – acquired from Houston last year for tackle Laremy Tunsil. The Fins can also drop rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa into the parcel, giving the Texans an instant replacement for Watson.

Jets Can Offer Best Return

Watson is unhappy with the culture in Houston. New Jets coach Robert Saleh fostered a winning culture during his tenure as defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.

New York’s AFC team owns multiple first-round draft picks in 2021 and 2022, including #2 overall this year. The Jets can include Sam Darnold to either be Houston’s QB, or to be utilized as a piece for the Texans to acquire more picks.

On the downside, there aren’t exactly a plethora of weapons that Watson would have at his disposal.

Falcons A Value Play

In this era in which social media is a tool to make statements, it’s hard to imagine that Watson’s decision to post an Instagram photo of himself wearing an Atlanta Falcons jacket was mere coincidence.

Internet sleuths quickly determined that the only NFL team Watson follows is the Falcons. He also follows Atlanta wide receiver Calvin Ridley.

Atlanta could deal veteran QB Matt Ryan to Houston along with the fourth overall pick in the draft, which the Texans could deploy to select Ryan’s eventual successor.

New Falcons coach Arthur Smith is an offense-minded guy, and likely known to Watson from Smith’s tenure as Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator. Atlanta, unlike the Jets, lists plenty of weapons for Watson to enjoy.

Watson Decision Isn’t Elementary

A solid case can be made for all of these teams. That being said, the Texans have asked for an interview with Kansas City Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, a Watson favorite. If he’s hired, maybe they patch things up and Deshaun stays in Houston.

If not, then the Falcons look to be the team that can offer both Houston and Watson the most.

Pick: Atlanta Falcons (+775)

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