While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs are preparing to square off next week in Super Bowl 55 the rest of the league is angling to prepare for a run at Super Bowl 56 by looking ahead at the 2021 NFL Draft and upcoming free agency. Uniquely though, the 2021 season also looks like there will be some more of a shakeup throughout the league surrounding star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
With a long offseason ahead of us ESPN's Bill Barnwell kicked off the speculation with 17 different trade proposals that could potentially land Watson on a new team...and then he ranked them all according to the likelihood that they could actually get done.
It's no secret that Vikings fans remain torn on the potential that current Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins brings to the table, so let's break this thing down.
According to Barnwell here's what the "fantasy" trade would like that would be close enough to be considered by Houston.
Vikings send: 14th and 90th overall picks in 2021, 2022 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick (to Texans), QB Kirk Cousins (to Patriots)
Texans send: 2023 fourth-round pick, QB Deshaun Watson (to Vikings)
Patriots send: 2022 fifth-round pick, 2023 fifth round pick, QB Jarrett Stidham (to Texans)"
So let's break this down now, there's a lot of moving parts which make it that much more less likely to happen, there are three teams involved which is rather rare in the NFL and there is A LOT to give up for the Vikings...but is it worth it? As far as the Vikings are concerned they would trade THREE first round picks, a third round pick and Kirk Cousins - FOR- Deshaun Watson. Woah!
While some of you are drooling and some of you are suffering from whiplash shaking your head no so quickly, let's dig into this a bit more. You'd be getting a proven franchise quarterback, one which is of the new school/mobile variety as well. Despite playing on one of the worst teams in the league, he topped the league with 4,823 yards.
Deshaun Watson did just sign a GIANT contract extension, but looking into it the situation would be even more favorable for a cap-strapped Vikings team. In 2021 Watson is owed just under $16 million, that's $15 million less than Kirk's $31 million in 2021 and would help a team that's presently $13 million over the cap. In 2022, Watson is also nearly $5 million cheaper than Kirk and then he's locked in for three more years after that.
Like we said earlier and like Barnwell explains, it's a longshot, in fact it's in the bottom half of his potential likelihood for getting a deal done, but that's about what it would cost.
Would you do it?