2016 Offseason: Most Tradable Vikings
When it comes to trades, the NFL is usually not known for these types of transactions as much as other professional sports leagues have been such as the NBA, NHL, and MLB. However, the league did have a total of 38 trades in 2015 before the start of the regular season that featured at least one player (not just draft picks) and that total is the highest it has been in the last three years.
In the last three NFL offseasons, there have been a total of 89 trades made before the start of that year’s regular season. The Vikings have been involved in four of those 89 trades, including three in 2015.
Will Minnesota and general manager Rick Spielman participate in any trades in this upcoming offseason? If they do, who has the possibility of leaving town?
Adrian Peterson, RB
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $11 million
What is a Vikings offseason without the talk of possible Peterson trade scenarios? A boring one, for sure.
The likelihood of Minnesota trading Peterson seems less for this offseason than it did during last year’s offseason. The Vikings exuded a ton of energy last year to bring their controversial running back to the team and it eventually resulted Minnesota providing Peterson with some guaranteed money.
He is the the 2015 NFL rushing champion, so there is always that to entice another team in acquiring him. Then again, he is a 30 year old running back coming off of a 300 plus carry season that cannot run successfully unless an offense is built around him and his abilities.
Jerick McKinnon, RB
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $738,750
McKinnon does not seem to come to mind when thinking of possible Vikings’ trade candidates, but he needs to be considered. His time in Minnesota may depend on what the team ends up doing during the upcoming NFL Draft.
The 23-year-old running back seemed to show some promise and potential to become a dangerous weapon in the Vikings offense in 2015, especially towards the end of the season. But can he be used as an every down back in the future?
Minnesota is eventually going to need to replace Peterson in their offense and do they feel that McKinnon has the skills and durability necessary to become their next full-time starter? Or will the Vikings go in a different direction and trade McKinnon this offseason and draft another running back they feel would be more capable of replacing Peterson?
Sharrif Floyd, DT
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $2.57 million
Finding players on Minnesota’s defense that they could possibly trade is much harder than finding players to trade from their offense. Floyd is one of the few that has a chance at being dealt, but it would still be a surprise if he was.
He has missed five games in the past two seasons due to injury and the Vikings might want player more reliable in the middle of their defensive line. Floyd was also less effective on defense this past season when fellow Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph was forced to miss a few games with a toe injury.
Mike Wallace, WR
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $11.5 million
Having been traded during the last NFL offseason to Minnesota, it does not seem likely the the Vikings would turn around and construct their own trade involving Wallace during this offseason. The biggest reason being that Minnesota probably would not receive much from another team in exchange for Wallace.
When the Vikings acquired Wallace before the start of the 2015 season, career lows in catches, yards, and touchdowns is not what he or the team had envisioned. If he is not in Minnesota next season it would likely be due to the team releasing him, rather than a trade.
Antone Exum, S
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $628,947
Trading Exum would likely only occur to create space on Minnesota’s roster or to acquire more draft picks. The Vikings probably would not get much in exchange for Exum as he has not blown anyone away with his abilities so far.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $2.29 million
Patterson might be the current Vikings player that has the best chance at being traded this offseason. Before they do that, Minnesota must first decide by May 2nd on whether to exercise Patterson’s option for a fifth year to be added to his rookie contract.
The probability of that happening seems highly unlikely given the lack of production from Patterson at the position he was drafted as, wide receiver. He has been one of the league’s best players in terms of kickoff returns (led the NFL in kickoff return average in two of his three seasons), but the Vikings should not keep a player around based solely on their kick return ability.
Matt Kalil, LT
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $11.09 million
If not for the current salary that Kalil is due next season, he might be one of the current Vikings at the top of this list. Minnesota would have a hard time finding a team that would take on Kalil’s salary based on how he has played during his four year NFL career.
Kalil was drafted fourth overall by the Vikings in 2012 and seemed like he was on his way to a productive career after earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. Spielman would surely jump at the chance to trade Kalil if another team called about the left tackle, but do not expect that call to happen before the 2016 regular season.
Captain Munnerlyn, CB
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $4.58 million
Munnerlyn will most likely be in Minnesota next season, but his fate with the team could actually rest on the shoulders on Terrence Newman. The 37-year-old Newman was one of the Vikings two starting cornerbacks last season and is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason.
If Newman decides to re-sign with Minnesota, what position would he play for the team in 2016? The Vikings have a young cornerback in Trae Waynes itching to get his opportunity as a starter and Minnesota could move Newman to safety in order to do so.
The Vikings could also keep Newman as a cornerback and play either he or Waynes as their slot cornerback. A problem is then created for Munnerlyn, who is currently the team’s slot cornerback and would likely be moved to the fourth cornerback on Minnesota’s depth chart.
$4.5 million seems like a lot of money to pay a team’s fourth best cornerback, does it not?
Charles Johnson, WR
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $600,000
Johnson’s status on the trade block is one that could also depend on what the Vikings end up doing in the draft. If Minnesota ends up taking a wide receiver with one of their draft selections, it would not be surprising if Johnson was sent packing.
Kyle Rudolph, TE
2016 Salary Cap Hit: $7.3 million
It seems as though every offseason, Minnesota gets excited about the potential big season Rudolph could have and then either an injury to himself or a teammate prevents that from happening. Could the Vikings finally be tired of waiting for that to happen each year?
With the emergence of fellow tight end MyCole Pruitt (who is much cheaper), could Minnesota try and see what they can get in exchange for the former golden domer? Spielman does like to pile up those draft picks, but would he use Rudolph as part of a package to get the Vikings more selections in the draft?