In May 2019, the Minnesota Vikings declined Laquon Treadwell’s fifth-year team option. On August 31, the Vikes waived the wide receiver, letting Treadwell become a free agent. After workouts for the Bills and Lions, the former first-rounder remained unsigned.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, another Vikings receiver, Chad Beebe, tore ligaments in his ankle during Week 3 and will likely miss time. In steps Treadwell.
Minnesota already owed Treadwell $1.15 million, even though they released him from the team. With Beebe down, they re-signed him, now trying to put the previously dead money to good use. As of now, Treadwell has not signed a new contract, and was already given his signing bonus from the contract on which he will continue to play.
It is a smart move, as the Vikings used a first-round pick (number 23 overall) on him back in 2016. They were also going to have to eat the money, anyway. So, productive or not, they will at least be paying their new number three wide receiver to play, rather than sit at home.
Important to remember, though, is Treadwell’s previous lack of production that led to him being cut in the first place. Over 40 games from 2016 to 2018, he caught only 56 passes for 517 yards. On those receptions, he scored only one touchdown. Not at all what you want from your first-round pick.
It seems as if Treadwell will be in a “prove it” type of situation with this new chance. Either proving it to the Vikings, who will have no control over his contract after 2019, or proving it to other teams that need depth. It is unclear whether Minnesota will release him again if Chad Beebe returns at 100 percent soon.
The Vikings face the Bears (Treadwell’s hometown team) on Sunday. Treadwell is expected to play.
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