NFL insider notes Sam Darnolds struggles may have Panthers mulling move for Deshaun Watson more from Week 5 Full-time JobJun 21st, 2023 at 08:49 Marketing & Communication Hastings 66 views
was always going to be a tough sell, in my opinion, as David Tepper's long-term quarterback solution. The uber-aggre sive owner wants a top flight, elite starting QB; it's lost on no one within that organization or around the league, and it's always looked a long shot to me that Darnold was going to suffice.And for all of the hype about Darnold at the very start of the season, as the Panthers rolled to a 3-0 start, the reality is that the former first-round pick has limitations, he quickly became at least to some degree damaged good by how the mismanaged him, and expecting him to emerge as a true franchise quarterback seemed like a stretch. And on Sunday, as Darnold threw three interceptions, including one final pick late in the game to clinch a troubling lo s to the , some who know the billionaire Tepper well could just see hm fuming in Jacob DeGrom Jersey his suite and mulling throwing a cadre of draft picks at the to take off their hands.If you recall, I reported extensively on Tepper's lust to land Watson a college star at Clemson, just down the road from the Panthers headquarters early in the offseason. But back then, the Texans were still being ridiculously obstinate about the star quarterback's future in Houston, and the Panthers eventually made a far-le ser gamble by acquiring Darnold and cro sing their fingers that Darnold might find the form that led to him being a top-10 pick in 2018.Then the allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual a sault started mounting for Watson, and with that cloud of uncertainty hanging over Watson's future, both legally and as it pertains to the NFL, no trade has come together at this point. And, most executives in this league figure Watson would end up on the Commi sioner's Exempt List if a team did try to deal for him and play him this season. But with Darnold having his struggles, and Tepper wildly driven to win and accustomed to having a Hall of Fame quarterback (as a minority owner in Pittsburgh he was there for 's rise), and the trade deadline now just a few weeks away, it's a prospect worth monitoring. For all of the talk about the and Watson, Tepper isn't used to not getting his man, and if he were to set his sights on Watson I wouldn't bet against him doing what it takes to secure the deal.He knows Texans executive Jack Easterby fairly well, the Texans would obviously rather ship their best player to the NFC if po sible, and Tepper would have Watson's contractual rights well beyond this season even if the NFL did intervene. If nothing else, you'll never convince me he is content with the current QB room, and he probably sees Darnold as being a lot closer to last year's placeholder QB, , than to the likes of or or or or .You'll never convince me he doesn't think there isn't a better option out there. You won't convince me that he's satisfied. Darnold has to sed three touchdowns to five interceptions over the last three games, taking Yoenis Cespedes Jersey 11 sacks in that span. One could most definitely argue that Darnold had everything to do with the Panthers losing control of a game they appeared to have in hand Sunday, undermining a very good defense, and allowing the Eagles to overcome a 15-3 deficit.Throwing horrible picks at a terrible time became something of a calling card with the Jets; everything was horrible there, hence a second chance in Carolina. But Sunday he had future head-coach-in-the-making Joe Brady calling his plays, and he was playing with a lead, and this is the kind of outing that is very likely to resonate strongly with this owner for all the wrong reasons.I'd still figure that Watson is a Texan come three weeks from now. But you never know. is never boring. Let's give him that.The Saints quarterback began the game with an interception, bounced back to throw a beautiful bomb for a touchdown, took a bad sack holding the ball too long on the third po se sion and then ended the half on a ridiculous, Zack Wheeler Jersey improbable Hail Mary touchdown that basically gave the Saints the cushion they would need to hold off Washington.You get a little bit of everything with him. All the time.I don't think Winston will end up as more than a one-year stopgap (a la Darnold) but I continue to believe he will be enough to get that team to the postseason. They have an offensive line, they can run the ball and the defense has plenty of bite. Not a bad equation. And after that brutal early pick he bounced back to throw four TD pa ses.Consistency will never be his hallmark. Even Sean Payton can't coax that. But he has managed to not throw a pick in three of his five outings for New Orleans, and a road-weary team that dealt with the impact of a tropical storm can reset with an early Week 6 bye and get back into some normal routines after that. Denver's defensive metrics after three weeks were otherworldly. Like 1985 good. Like 2000 good.But there was always a caveat. They hadn't played anyone yet. They weren't dealing a with big boy offense. They got to feast on a then-struggling in the opener followed by rookies and , allowing 26 total points and a collective QB rating around 50 and looked impenetrable. Now that they have faced the Ravens and last few weeks not so much.Pittsburgh's offense got right against them a week after Lamar Jackson lit them up, and you have to start asking questions about whether this operation is really going to be good enough to flirt with a wild-card spot in a tough AFC. Injuries have taken a significant toll, but that's football, and Vic Fangio's defense has suddenly yielded 50 points in two weeks and the have the air of a team that may have peaked in September. Ben Roethlisberger pushed the ball downfield with more verve and regularity than he has in perhaps a calendar year, and a Steelers team that hasn't run Keith Hernandez Jersey the ball well since sometime in 2019, perhaps, quickly churned up 100 yards behind rookie back . Color me concerned.Something has to give in Miami. They have made too many mistakes and taken too many steps backward to think that this regime is going to be intact in 2022, barring a major reversal that doesn't seem likely. They have regre sed substantially from a year ago, continue to get next to nothing from vital draft picks and acquisitions and Brian Flores' defense isn't much good this year. getting attacked by and all day? I suspect Flores would win a power struggle with GM Chris Grier if it comes to that, and that he could curry sufficient favor with ownership, though one wonders if a total reboot would make the most sense if that kind of inept football continues. The dual-offensive coordinator thing was always silly, and now it looks downright mindle s is looking like the offensive rookie of the year to me. Brutal lo s for the , but they have made major strides, Neil Walker Jersey Zac Taylor has grown into the head coach role and as long as Joe Burrow stay healthy they are going to be a factor in the AFC playoff scene Bill Belichick the GM hit a home run with the signing of , but the continue to leave me wanting more. Gutsy comeback over Houston, but there are problems on both sides of the ball with this team Cannot believe the found a way to lose another game in such awful fashion. Dan Campbell will appreciate the hell out of his first NFL win, and that group already shows a different fire and spirit than was the case with Matt Patricia at the helm. You have to think they get at least a little bit lucky soon enough.
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