New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has just been traded to the Carolina Panthers for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft and a second and fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
That means that the Jets will undoubtedly draft a top-tier quarterback with this year's second overall pick in the draft. It also means that one of the top suitors for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Panthers, has already traded for their new quarterback.
Very few teams can meet the high asking price for Watson, a price that seems reasonable considering Watson's elite skill and talent levels coupled with his youth. However, Carolina had the resources necessary to, at the very least, not be shunned from the negotiating table or have the phone hung up on them before the conversation even began.
Whether it was the high asking price from Houston or Watson's current legal situation that scared them off, it won't matter now as the Panthers have pivoted to Darnold. The former Jets quarterback has a lot of upside, and coupled with Panthers offensive coordinator Matt Rhule, the USC product could see a revival of his young career.
With the Panthers crossed off the list of suitors for Watson, few teams likely remain who could make an offer suitable to Houston's "treasure chest'' desire. ... meaning this deal would seem to reduce, if by just a bit, the pursuers in a Watson bidding war.