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NFL Trade Rumors: Vikings and Buccaneers high on list of potential landing spots for Deshaun Watson

The Buccaneers and the Vikings are two teams on Deshaun Watson's radar
The Buccaneers and the Vikings are two teams on Deshaun Watson's radar
Steven Kubitza
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Many imagine that the Houston Texans are ready to finally move on from quarterback Deshaun Watson. He was adamant against playing for the team last season and not much is expected to change now. Especially given much of the coaching staff is staying put under head coach Lovie Smith.

The question of his legal status is still hanging over his head. But should that be resolved, the trade rumors will heat up at a rapid rate around the league. Fans must also remember that he has a no-trade clause as part of his deal. So even though he isn't playing in Houston, he has to approve any move that can be made.

So who is on Watson's radar? ESPN's Jeremy Fowler released a report and named two NFL teams in particular as being notable in the Watson sweepstakes: the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

#Texans QB Deshaun Watson has begun evaluating potential teams to play for in the 2022 season, the #Vikings and #Buccaneers are among teams on his radar, according to @JFowlerESPN https://t.co/T9oguzwCFH

Both teams look like fascinating options for Watsons and both could be a good fit for different reasons.

How Deshaun Watson fits with the Vikings and Buccaneers

Houston Texans v Chicago Bears
Houston Texans v Chicago Bears

Watson going to Minnesota raises an interesting discussion because it would have to involve the Vikings sending Kirk Cousins to Houston in return. The Vikings, under new head coach Kevin O'Connell, have indicated they want to keep the veteran around.

However, should the Vikings be able to land Watson on his current deal, it may be a no-brainer for them to make that trade.

He would be paired with a top offensive mind in O'Connell, who just won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams. He would also get to play with Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson, forming a dynamic offensive trio for the Vikings. Fans will likely be ecstatic about the idea of this quarterback swap.

Deshaun Watson has listed the Minnesota #Vikings as one of two teams on his radar per @JFowlerESPN. https://t.co/dC3Ue0Uxx2

The Buccaneers have an easier path because they do not have a current starter on their roster. Their deal for the Texans' signal-caller would likely have to feature a ton of draft capital and perhaps a key starter.

Tom Brady could very well want to return in 2022. But the Buccaneers cannot sit around and wait for that to happen. If they land Watson and Brady does seek a return, they could simply trade the latter to another team.

Getting the young star would be the best possible scenario for the Buccaneers after losing Brady to retirement. They opted to take on the NFL legend with a short-term view in mind, and that panned out well, resulting in a Super Bowl title. Now the Buccaneers find themselves back at square one, looking for a new franchise quarterback.

One potential scenario is to land another veteran in the trade market. Yet trading for Watson, who is under contract through 2025, would provide a true long-term plan for the franchise.

If the quarterback's legal issues are cleared up and he faces no disciplinar action from the league, the Texans are going to get calls from more than just these two teams. Yet the no-trade clause in his contract does loom over the situation, so a deal must make sense for any team interested in him.


Also Read: NFL reporter who called Aaron Rodgers "biggest jerk in the league" explains why he voted for Cooper Kupp as MVP


Edited by David Nyland
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