After three uneventful seasons in purple, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell is thought to be entering a make or break season. However, if this week’s OTA’s (organized team activities) are any indication, the writing is already on the wall for the former first-round pick.
No one expects a first rounder to be cut before his contract expires, but Treadwell continued to struggle with drops this week and his roster spot is definitely in jeopardy. Laquon held the number three wide receiver position behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs last year. The competition against him is fierce this year, including but not limited to Olabisi Johnson, Dillon Mitchell, Jordan Taylor, Jeff Badet, Chad Beebe, and Brandon Zylstra.
I think Jordan Taylor is Treadwell’s biggest threat. Earlier this week, quarterback Kirk Cousins raved about Taylor’s crisp route running, while Laquon was demoted to the second-team offense. During his time with the Denver Broncos, Taylor worked closely with future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, and he’s already connecting with Minnesota’s franchise players. On Twitter this week, Taylor was photographed sitting with Thielen and Diggs during a film-study session.
In college at Ole Miss, Treadwell’s height (6’3”) and athleticism helped him to dominate defenders. It’s been a different story in the NFL, as he struggles to create separation and make contested catches. Even when he’s wide open, Treadwell has been plagued by drops in the big leagues, and fans never let him live it down on social media. He recently posted a picture of himself holding a ball on Instagram with the caption “Year 4, let’s get it!” The post seemed innocent enough, but his followers were quick to jab at him, making statements like: “Most you’ve had a ball in your hands in four years.” and “How many times did you drop the ball during this photo shoot?”
The lack of support goes beyond the fans. Last year, Cousins and the coaches were certainly vouching for Treadwell, complimenting his work ethic and improvements made in practice. Fans were hopeful that with Cousins at the helm, the struggling receiver would finally break out. That hasn’t been the case, and the Vikings opted against picking up the fifth-year option on his contract.
With the Vikings having invested a first-round pick in Treadwell, I’ve always hoped that he would hit his stride, proving haters wrong and GM Rick Spielman right. Unfortunately, Minnesota might not be the right home for the receiver, and it may be time for the Vikings to say goodbye. The team is desperate for cap space, and cutting Treadwell would save some money. I wish the best for Treadwell, but don’t be surprised to see a tough choice be made.