Armon Watts Ends Up with a Division Rival
Well, that didn’t take long. A day after learning that Armon Watts has been cut, Vikings fans are learning that he’s heading to a division rival. He’ll now be a member of the Chicago Bears.
Will Ragatz of Sports Illustrated provides the news:
It’s somewhat surprising to see the Vikings not get anyone. Ragatz did go on to clarify that it’s possible the team made a claim but weren’t able to snag the player they were hoping to get. It’s an important distinction.
Armon Watts joins the Bears at a time when they’re rebuilding. Justin Fields is their sophomore QB who was a first-round pick in 2021. One of the main priorities for Chicago in 2022 rests in determining if he’s their long-term starter. If so, they’ll be in a much better position moving forward.
That being said, Chicago is also interested in adding talent all over the roster, especially if the players are young. Watts, who was drafted in the 6th round in 2019, is still only 26. It’s very possible that he can be a starter on their defense for several years. I was among the many who believed Watts would be an impact player in Minnesota for 2022 (and potentially beyond). The fact that Chicago was able to get him for nothing is a good move for the Bears organization.
Last year, Watts piled up 5 sacks. Keep in mind that he only started 9 games. He played 56% of the defensive snaps, per PFR. So, he played a prominent role, but he wasn’t an every down starter for the entire season.
He finished the year as the 48th-ranked DT on PFF (108 are considered in the ranking).
Chicago’s defensive depth chart could use more talent. Robert Quinn, Roquan Smith, and Jaylon Johnson are all good players. Armon Watts can help to supplement this core by providing some pass-rush upside from the DT position.
Meanwhile, Minnesota will be moving ahead with a DT group that consists of Dalvin Tomlinson, Harrison Phillips, Johnathan Bullard, James Lynch, Esezi Otomewo, and Ross Blacklock. The two starters – Tomlinson and Phillips – are both very good. After them, there is some uncertainty about how the depth players can perform.
The Vikings first game against the Bears will take place in Week 5.