Vikings Showing Interest in Deshaun Watson
The Minnesota Vikings are mulling their options at quarterback, before committing to any other roster moves this offseason. But with a new league year nearly upon us, time is running out. So, what is taking so long? Well, a new report surfaced early Saturday afternoon, regarding Deshaun Watson, that might tell part of the story.
After being cleared on eight criminal sexual assault charges Friday, Watson is starting to garner interest from teams looking to upgrade at QB, though 22 civil charges of the same variety, still remain. According to ProFootballNetwork.com, the Vikings are one of the teams who are now showing interest. Carolina, Seattle, Cleveland, Tampa Bay and the New Orleans are the others.
The Minnesota Vikings have expressed interest in Watson despite the presence of quarterback Kirk Cousins, according to sources. Cousins, who has the largest salary cap figure in the NFL, is potentially available via a trade for the right price.
The Vikings appear to be an attractive potential destination for Watson given the presence of wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen and running back Dalvin Cook.ProFootballNetwork.com (Aaron Wilson)
Deshaun Watson in a Football Vacuum
It was just a few weeks ago that the 26-year-old Deshaun Watson listed Minnesota as one of the three teams he was interested in being traded to. He’s said to like the offensive weapons (Cook, JJ, Thielen) the Vikings would have for him to work with.
In a vacuum, Watson is the best QB who remains up for grabs, even if he hasn’t played since 2020. His 4,823 yards and 33 touchdowns ranked 1st and 7th in the NFL that year, respectively. And his 112.4 passer rating ranked 2nd. But, we don’t live in a vacuum. And 22 civil suits alleging serious sexual misconduct/assault are still levied against him.
What’s Next for Watson?
Now that the criminal cases have been thrown out, Watson is expected to start civil depositions ASAP. He used the 5th amendment through the duration of his criminal proceedings but is expected to drop his right to silence as the civil suits play out.
Deshaun Watson could settle with his 22 complainants at any time, now that the criminal matters are resolved. And no matter how the legal process finishes, he could still be subject to punishment by the NFL.
The coming days will be important for Watson and his potential NFL suitors.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan