Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If I were a smart man, I would have pre-written an article titled “early bye week is ideal for pre-deadline trades” and scheduled it to post on Monday morning.

I’m not a smart man, though.

The Vikings did indeed take advantage of a week off to bring a new center into the fold (and ship off a previously-starting linebacker), as Austin Belisle explained earlier, and they may not be done yet.

It is hard to say what the real motives were behind trading Gerald Hodges away, and acquiring center Nick Easton, and it is natural to wonder if there is more to the story than Rick Spielman let on Tuesday evening. It is equally impossible to tell, at this moment, whether or not more trades are in the works in the near future.

Our friends over at Daily Norseman posted an article citing Benjamin Albright who tweeted, “Have heard the Vikings have solicited more than one team about interest in Patterson.”

Cordarrelle Patterson, of course, is easily singled out as potential trade bait under the current circumstances. Heck, it would’ve been easy a week ago, but after Stefon Diggs proved to be a big boy on Sunday, now it seems downright logical.

I don’t doubt that Albright has heard what he said he has heard. I’m dubious about pointing to that as proof something is in the works, however, without knowing who he heard it from and how long ago. Patterson certainly has desirable traits and could be welcomed to a number of NFL rosters, but it is unlikely the Vikings get anywhere near the first round selection they spent on him in 2013.

After an outstanding rookie season, Patterson has remained the team’s top kick returner, but has failed to establish himself as capable within Norv Turner’s offensive scheme. He has the speed and size to some great things, but critics have harped on Patterson’s route running and lackadaisical attitude over the last 18 months or so.

If I’m being honest with you, I don’t think trading Patterson for a fifth round selection (or something in that neighborhood) is worth it. He may be the low man on the wide receiver totem pole for route-related issues, but there is value in his prowess as a return man, and it wouldn’t kill Turner to hand the ball off to him once in a while.

The worst case scenario with Patterson is actually the best case scenario for the Vikings in that everybody stays healthy. In that case he would act as a primary kick returner, a fifth wide out, and an emergency running back. In the event of injuries, he is a pretty flashy talent coming off the bench that can’t possibly be maxed out from a coaching standpoint.

I may not be out of patience with Patterson yet, but time will tell just how much leash he has left in Minnesota. If Albright’s tweet is any indication, he might already be at the end of it, which would just be a shame no matter how you slice it.

For now, file this away in the drawer clearly labeled “rumor,” but we’ll monitor the situation to see if anything else develops.