By now almost everyone has heard of the possibility that the Carolina Panthers are in play for Deshaun Watson via trade. This has caused some unlikely former players to weigh in their opinion on the potential blockbuster deal. One such player is the Panthers' second all-time leading rusher DeAngelo Williams.
Williams had this to say on the subject via Twitter:
Williams brings the insight of a former player that us in the media and fans of the team do not have, which makes it difficult to simply dismiss this and label the former running back a "hater". However, the Panthers have undeniable talent especially on the offense that far exceeds what the New York Jets displayed last season.
For instance, Carolina had four players top the 1,000 yards from scrimmage mark in DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel and Mike Davis. They were only the fifth team in the Super Bowl era to do so. Not to mention that they accomplished this without All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey suiting up for the majority of the games.
Williams went on to say that the Panthers lack the offensive line to protect Watson and that the Pro Bowl QB's best fit would be with the division rival New Orleans Saints. Ouch!
Carolina's offensive line is definitely a work in progress but it is far from worst in the league. Following the conclusion of the 2020 season Pro Football Focus (PFF) rated the Panthers' offensive line at 18th out of 32 teams. Far ahead of Williams' comparison, the 29th ranked Jets. Also ahead of the 24th ranked Houston Texans, the team that Watson just had another solid statistical season with.
The Panthers might not be solely a quarterback away from making it to a Super Bowl but it is definitely the teams' biggest need. To say that the team has no other pieces in place to surround Watson with talent is a far cry.
Williams is certainly entitled to his opinion. I agree that the Panthers are probably not in a plug and play situation like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were last year when they added Tom Brady. However, they do have some intriguing pieces to work with that should at least garner some interest from QBs that are looking for new teams this offseason.
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