Vikings Given Solid Odds to Trade for Texans QB Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

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There’s a timeline out there where the Minnesota Vikings find a suitor for Kirk Cousins and make the mega-trade for recently disgruntled Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson.

It’s a longshot. But the Vikings are tied for the 11th-highest odds (+3000) of rostering Watson to start next season, per the latest forecast by SportsBetting.com.

The New York Jets (+200) are considered the tentative favorite to throw all their draft picks to Houston for a chance at Watson, followed by the Miami Dolphins (+300), Chicago Bears (+400) and Denver Broncos (+500).

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What’s Keeping the Vikings From Making the Trade?

While it’d be an opportune time to find a guaranteed franchise quarterback in free agency, the Vikings have already hamstrung themselves to past decisions at quarterback.

Minnesota already owes Cousins his 2021 fully guaranteed salary of $21 million and his $10 million signing bonus. If Minnesota does not move him before the third league day of the season, June 1, his 2022 salary becomes fully guaranteed. His contract isn’t an attractive deal in a trade, and the lack of high-value draft capital the Vikings possess likely won’t field Watson.

Houston has reportedly set the price for Watson steep at “three 1sts, three 2nds and a player,” per Benjamin Allbright. Cousins likely doesn’t fit into the Texans’ plans, meaning the Vikings would have to deal a Pro Bowler still in their prime like Danielle Hunter and deal Cousins to create the cap space to house Watson’s $156 million contract.

Trading for Watson doesn’t fit Minnesota’s plans at the moment either. Coach Mike Zimmer has maintained that he’s seeking continuity on offense in the event offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak retires. Installing a new quarterback and offensive coordinator is the furthest move from Zimmer’s vision.


 Cousins Likely Secures the Final Year of His Deal

Six games into the 2020 season, it wasn’t far-fetched that the Vikings would seek a replacement to Cousins this offseason. He led the league with 10 interceptions and gave away two games to the Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Hawks with three turnovers in each game.

Cousins confessed that he “won’t finish the season” as the starter if he continues to commit turnovers.

The 32-year-old quarterback righted the ship in the second half of the season, throwing 24 touchdowns and just three interceptions in the final 10 games of the season. He did so with the league’s third-worst pass-blocking offensive line, per Pro Football Focus.

Watson likely wouldn’t fare much better behind the Vikings’ offensive line and in the team’s offensive scheme. Cousins isn’t Minnesota’s most talented player and is more of a complementary piece to the offense. 

Watson would require a rehaul of the offensive scheme and while he could run the outside zone scheme, a run-first approach would be a waste of his talents.

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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.

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