Deshaun Watson apparently sees the Vikings and the Bucs as possible fits for his services if he returns to the NFL as he deals with 22 civil cases filed by women accusing him of sexual assault and lewd behavior during massage sessions.
That's according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, who reported Wednesday that Watson has "begun evaluating potential fits for his services in 2022, with the Buccaneers and Vikings among teams on his radar."
Fowler added that the Houston Texas, the team Watson is till under contract with, plans to explore trading Watson when the 2022 league year begins March 16 or around the NFL Draft in late April.
Watson has four years remaining on his contract with 2022 base salary of $35 million. His contract also includes a no-trade clause, meaning he can't be traded without giving his approval.
Watson has not been criminally charged for any of the civil lawsuits.
Lovie Smith, the new head coach of the Texans, told Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer this week that he wants the Watson situation in Houston resolved as soon as possible.
“As soon as possible. I’m not running away from the question, but as soon as possible,” Smith said. “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. There’s no other answer to give right now except for that one, and we’re going to try to get it resolved as soon as we possibly can. But we don’t play tomorrow. We have a little bit of time, and we’ll get it done.”
Of course, Watson can want to play for any team all he wants but those teams have to want him back, and the only way the Vikings could possibly add Watson would include getting rid of Kirk Cousins and his $45 million cap hit next season.