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RUMOR: Deshaun Watson a target for Panthers after Sam Darnold benching

Deshaun Watson, Panthers, Sam Darnold, Texans

The honeymoon phase of the Carolina Panthers’ marriage with Sam Darnold has seemingly come to an end. It was sweet in the beginning, with the Panthers racking up three wins to start the season. But since their 24-9 victory over the lowly Houston Texans in Week 3, the Panthers have gone 0-4. It’s gotten so bad for Darnold that he was benched in Week 7’s 25-3 road loss to the New York Giants. Could this signal a more serious pursuit of Deshaun Watson for the Panthers?

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Watson has softened his stance in terms of where he’d prefer to get traded. It’s important to note that Watson has veto power on any trade proposals that involve him. The Panthers have long been linked to Watson.

Deshaun Watson update: Watson prepared to consider multiple options — it’s not Miami-or-bust — and multiple teams remain interested.

Meanwhile, Carolina’s QB outlook has changed after ugly Giants loss. Panthers are expected to be players.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule downplayed questions about the level of interest Carolina has on Watson and expressed his support for Darnold amid rumors.

Is that tune the same for Rhule following the letdown performance of Darnold in Week 7. The former New York Jets quarterback passed for 111 yards with zero touchdowns and an interception on 16-of-25 pass completions. He was even replaced in the fourth quarter by backup P.J. Walker, who didn’t impress either, as he went 3 of 14 for just 33 yards in garbage time.