Carolina Panthers not pursuing Deshaun Watson deal ahead of trade deadline, source confirms

Roger Goodell explains why the NFL has yet to decide on Deshaun Watson’s playing status. There are 22 civil lawsuits against the Texans quarterback. (0:37).
CHARLOTTE (N.C.) -- With the NFL trade deadline fast approaching, Deshaun Watson, the Carolina Panthers, will not pursue him, according to ESPN.

ESPN and other media outlets reported that the Panthers (3-4) had renewed interest in possibly pursuing a Watson deal. This was despite the team's four-game losing streak, and the benching Sunday's quarterback Sam Darnold. Carolina was reportedly open to the idea of trading Watson in the offseason.

Coach Matt Rhule stated Monday that Carolina's interest was not from him. "I have nothing to contribute to that. "My focus is on this team."

Darnold will continue to be the Panthers' starting quarterback in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Watson faces 22 lawsuits for sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour and has not played a game for the Texans since. Watson has a no trade clause in his contract that he has waived for the Miami Dolphins.

According to the NFL Network, the league source wouldn't give any details on why Watson won't be pursued by the Panthers. Watson was pursued by the Panthers earlier this year, before the lawsuits were filed and before Darnold was traded to the New York Jets.

However, there has been a lot of negative social media responses to the potential pursuit of the quarterback. After an investigation into workplace misconduct including sexual harassment, Jerry Richardson, former team owner was fined $2.75million by the NFL.

Richardson sold the team for a record NFL price of $2.275 billion to David Tepper. Sources claim that Tepper was initially in favor of following Watson.

At the fall owners meetings, Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, stated Tuesday that there was not enough information regarding the allegations against Watson for him to be placed on the commissioner's exempt lists. Watson is currently eligible to play in a trade.

Watson's strongest rival has been the Dolphins. The price paid by the Texans for Watson was at least three draft picks in the first round, and possibly more.

League sources claimed that the Panthers would not give up three first-rounders to help rebuild their team through the draft.

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