The Buccaneers and Vikings are on Deshaun Watson’s radar.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, chat around Super Bowl week suggested that Watson would consider waiving his no-trade clause for both Tampa Bay and Minnesota.
“The Texans quarterback, who spent the 2021 season on the team’s active roster but did not play, has begun evaluating potential fits for his services in 2022, with the Buccaneers and Vikings among teams on his radar,” Fowler reports.
Twenty-two women from four different states have filed lawsuits against Watson alleging sexual assault or inappropriate behavior. And because a court has yet to adjudicate Watson’s legal issues, the NFL is waiting to discipline him. Perhaps, Watson could miss close to half of the 2022 season with an 8-game suspension.
In Houston, the Texans want to get a deal done immediately, says new head coach Lovie Smith.
“As soon as possible,” Smith said when asked about the Watson saga. “I’m not running away from the question, but as soon as possible. There are things that need to be taken care of before the football part comes into play. We’re patient, we’ve waited an entire year and I just feel like this offseason, it’ll come to an end and we’ll get it solved and it’ll be good for both parties, whatever that might be.”
Fowler adds that the Texans could begin trade talks with teams on March 16, the start of the new league year.
Back in November during the NFL’s trade deadline, Watson viewed the Dolphins as his preferred destination. However, the Dolphins have since fired Brian Flores, the coach for whom Watson wanted to play, and they appear committed to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Because of Watson’s no-trade clause, other teams in the quarterback market would have to convince both Watson and the Texans they are an optimal trade partner. Such teams include the Eagles, Panthers, Broncos and Saints.
Assuming Tom Brady is actually retired, the Bucs are Watson’s best option on the field. It’s not close.