With teams starting to file in for training camp, one of the biggest storylines heading into the 2021 season is where Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson will be playing. Earlier this week, several reports msurfaced out of Houston that the Texans are willing and open to listening to trade offers for the 25-year-old star quarterback.
Watson currently has 22 pending lawsuits for sexual harassment but there doesn't seem to be any indication that he will be unable to play this fall. Months ago when Watson requested a trade from Houston, Carolina was considered one of the many teams to have interest in him. However, once the allegations started coming out, all trade rumors came to a halt and the Panthers ended up striking a deal with the New York Jets to acquire Sam Darnold.
Even after trading for Darnold, the Panthers are still considered a team that may have interest in Watson. Tuesday afternoon, Panthers GM Scott Fitterer laid those rumors to rest and says that he is more concerned with those who are currently on the roster.
"We're focused on the guys that are here right now," Fitterer said. "We're worried about getting Sam [Darnold] and all of our guys ready to play. We're not focused on players on other teams. We're just focused on the guys here."
From the first day that Fitterer was introduced as general manager, he has repeatedly said that he will "be in on every deal" and will always search for ways to improve the roster. That approach is what made some folks believe the Panthers could still have an interest in Watson despite having already traded for Darnold. Although Fitterer will likely do his homework on Watson's situation, it doesn't appear that it is a direction they want to go in at this point in time.
"I think we're always looking to add players to every position. Keeping some cap space is important to us, there's a lot of planning too. Not this year, we're looking at next year, the year after, building our model, who do we want to pay next. I know we have two or three players we're talking to..."
As far as the roster as a whole, Fitterer says that he likes where the team is at right now and believes they've done a good job of building depth on both sides of the ball.
"I think defensively we added a lot of strength and a lot of size and speed on that side of the ball. Skill position-wise on offense we're in good shape. Offensive line is going to come together...but that's probably the most fluid thing...I like where we're at but we're never settled. We're always looking to improve."
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