clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Would you rather: Deshaun Watson or Matthew Stafford?

The Panthers seem to be in the market for a quarterback, so which should they trade for?

Houston Texans v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

With the Carolina Panthers failing to convert any fourth quarter comebacks despite numerous close losses, the team is apparently exploring outside options at the quarterback position. A couple of scintillating trade possibilities have come out in recent weeks. Franchise quarterbacks don’t grow on trees, but two members of that illustrious group (Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford) have made it clear that they want a change of scenery. What would it take to get either of those players, and which trade would make the most sense for the Panthers?

Deshaun Watson for Teddy Bridgewater, Christian McCaffrey, 8th overall pick in 2021, first round pick in 2022, and third round pick in 2021

Deshaun Watson is the better get overall, due to both his age (25) and his multidimensional ability. What Watson can do with his legs, Stafford can’t. Because he’s so valuable (a would-be MVP candidate had he been on a winning team), his price tag will be Saks Fifth Avenue high. The most recent swap of starting quarterbacks was the Jay Cutler for Kyle Orton et al trade from 2009. The Broncos only got Orton, the No. 18 pick, and a third rounder. The Broncos even threw in a fifth rounder in the deal. Since then, the quarterback market has exploded, as evidenced by the massive contracts being given out to those guys. I think it takes a lot more than that to land Watson, and rumors have brought up the idea of sending CMC and a bunch of picks. Hopefully we can avoid sending Brian Burns or one of the other young defenders. Still, this would be a heavy price to pay when trying to build around a franchise player.

Matthew Stafford for Teddy Bridgewater, a second round pick in 2021, and a compensatory fifth round pick in 2021

No one will question Matthew Stafford’s toughness, but he is 33 and gets banged up quite a bit. His arm talent is undeniable, and he rarely misses time. Still, his age and the wear and tear on his body will drop his price a bit. The Panthers would be parting with Teddy in this scenario, allowing him to mentor whomever the Lions take in the first round of the draft. Detroit seems to think they can squeeze a first round pick out of a quarterback needy team. An early second rounder and an extra fifth might be good enough. The Panthers should be getting a fifth round compensatory pick for the departure of Vernon Butler to Buffalo, so that would be an ideal pick to use here.

Which deal is better?

There are positives and negatives to both deals, obviously. Watson gives you a franchise cornerstone for the next decade, but limits your ability to build around him by giving up that many picks. Stafford costs far less, but would only be around for a few years. For now, we won’t think too hard about the salary cap implications of either deal. The Saints have shown that teams can always find ways to get under the cap. For my money, I’m all in on the Deshaun Watson train. He elevates the players around him, so not having first round picks for a couple years isn’t the end of the world.

What do you think Panthers fans? Have a different trade offer in mind? Sound off in the comments!

Poll

Which deal would you pull the trigger on?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Deshaun Watson for Teddy Bridgewater, Christian McCaffrey, 8th overall pick in 2021, first round pick in 2022, and third round pick in 2021
    (381 votes)
  • 63%
    Matthew Stafford for Teddy Bridgewater, a second round pick in 2021, and a compensatory fifth round pick in 2021
    (664 votes)
1045 votes total Vote Now