Vikings can be sellers and remain competitive

The Minnesota Vikings got off to a spectacular start, winning 34-28 in overtime against the Carolina Panthers. Now, sitting at 3-3 with a brutal streak to come after the break, the team are in an odd situation as the November 2 trade deadline approaches. Minnesota isn’t in farm gate mode, but they’re not Super Bowl contenders who only need a coin or two to grow.

Will they do something by the trade deadline? There are a few players on one-year contracts that they could trade with teams in the upper echelon to get the most out of their roster without completely derailing their ability to compete for a playoff spot right now. .

The first of these players is Stephen weatherly. The defensive end suffered a pay cut to return to play for Andre Patterson and the Vikings. Still, he didn’t have many opportunities with Everson griffenthe resurgence of and second-year player DJ Wonnum taking most of the shots behind Danielle Hunter.

In fact, over the past few weeks, Weatherly’s snapshot count has dropped to single digits. Minnesota is trading Weatherly with a rival team like the Los Angeles Chargers to add to their stable of rotating pass rushers in exchange for a weak draft pick.

The Vikings chose a defensive end, Patrick jones ii of Pittsburgh, reasonably high in the 2021 draft. Jones has yet to dress for an NFL regular season game, but Weatherly’s absence would give him the chance to play a few shots per game, fueling his growth and development.

In June, the Vikings signed Sheldon richardson to a one-year contract, adding to their revamped interior defensive line. Richardson, who used to be a starter throughout his career, embraced the Minnesota rotating role behind Dalvin tomlinson, Michael pierce, and Armon watts. He averages around 30 snaps per game and offers reliable depth at a position the Vikings have struggled with for some time.

However, it also gives it good value. Richardson could be sent to a desperate team in the middle of their defensive line for a pretty high pick on Day 2. He’s a seasoned veteran with playoff experience.

The Vikings must love the way Armon Watts is playing right now. The third-year nose tackle posted a career-high PFF rating against the Panthers (91.8). He had four presses, a strip-sack and added a few dispatches.

Additionally, during his press conference ahead of the break week, head coach Mike Zimmer said he expected starting nose tackle Pierce “to come back pretty quickly.” So, with the trade deadline after the Vikings’ Week 8 game against the Cowboys, there would be more incentive for them to trade Richardson if Pierce can return. However, Zimmer is hard to trust on injury news, so trading Richardson could be risky.

The last player, also in defense, is Nick vigil. He did a satisfying job filling in next to Eric kendricks when Anthony barr was out. From a critical third sack against the Cincinnati Bengals to an exciting pick-six in Arizona, his impact plays have been important to the Minnesota defense.

However, like the much-maligned ancient Viking Eric wilson, Vigil’s highs come with his lows, mainly his lack of ground play awareness. His defense against running was a handicap. Nonetheless, if the Vikings were considering trading him, they should be sure that the young development linebackers they have, like Troy dye and even Chazz Surratt, that wouldn’t be too much of a fall.

Minnesota could secure a lower-round draft pick for Vigil. This potential trade is probably the riskiest for the Vikings as their linebacking depth is unproven and Barr has not shown that he remains healthy consistently.

The biggest incentive to trade any of these players is that they are on one year deals. The odds of them being re-signed by the Vikings are pretty low given the circumstances, so Minnesota may be wise to take advantage of their value while they can.


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