Sansevere: Yeah, JJ Watt Ain’t Happening [Exclusive]
The worst thing about the NFL offseason is the rampant speculation and how it impacts fans desperate for their team to have a new look.
Like Vikings fans.
Over the past few weeks, they have been all whipped up about the chances of acquiring Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers and, most recently, Russell Wilson.
Those chances are not exactly good.
One fan on social media threw out a scenario of a three-team trade that sent Kirk Cousins to San Francisco, Jimmy Garoppolo to Seattle and Russell Wilson to the Vikings. It’s all just mental masturbation.
The Seahawks, even with the acquisition of the Vikings’ and 49ers’ first-round picks, are not letting Wilson go for Garoppolo.
And now fans in 31 NFL communities across America are pipe-dreaming about signing J.J. Watt, who was released Friday by the Houston Texans.
Vikings fans are, of course, having that pipe dream. They think, “Ah, wouldn’t it be great to have Watt and Danielle Hunter as bookend defensive ends?”
It ain’t happening.
The Vikings could begin next season without Hunter, who still has to prove he can overcome his neck injury, and they certainly won’t begin it with Watt.
The truest of free agents, Watt can sign with any team. The teams likely most appealing to him or anyone would be the Kansas City Chiefs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, assuming Brady does indeed return, and the Cleveland Browns.
Those three teams all have a strong shot to be playing in next year’s Super Bowl — certainly stronger shots than the Vikings.
Watt is going to want a ring, and a number of teams are better equipped to do that than the Vikings.
The team that can give him both that Super Bowl shot and a hefty contract is the Cleveland Browns.
The combined salary cap space of the Chiefs ($5.09 million), Bucs ($4.58 million) and Vikings (4.52 million) is dwarfed by the Browns’ $30.36 million in salary cap space. (These are current cap numbers, and can be less once the NFL sets the 2021 cap amount.)
The Packers might be an attractive landing spot for Watt because he’s a Wisconsin guy, but Green Bay has even less cap space ($3.77 million) than the Vikings.
Now Watt could go elsewhere, but Cleveland would have to be considered a likely place for him to go. And certainly a much likelier place than Minnesota.
Bob Sansevere does a daily podcast called “The BS Show,” which also can be heard on radio stations in Duluth (KDAL), Hibbing (WNMT) and St. Cloud (WBHR).