Rapoport previously reported that Watson met with the Panthers, as well as executives from the New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns, and was expected to meet with the Atlanta Falcons Wednesday.
Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he must give approval to any proposed trade by the Texans. According to Rapoport, the Panthers, Saints, Browns and Falcons were the four teams in the mix for Watson.
Rapoport now says the Falcons and Saints are the final two teams in question.
"Above all these teams, it seems like the Saints seem to have stood out as far as I can tell," Rapoport previously said on NFL Network.
Owner David Tepper had made it clear that he was interested in trading for Watson, and the Panthers have been linked to Watson rumors for months. Last week, it was announced that Watson won't face any criminal charges in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct from over 20 women. It's unclear if he will face any punishment from the NFL, and he sat out the entire 2021-22 season amid the uncertainty and his request for a trade from Houston.
Quarterback Sam Darnold is entering the final year of his contract with a guaranteed salary of $18.8 million. The Panthers traded for Darnold last April and immediately picked up his fifth-year option for 2022-23.
All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.