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First Thielen, Now Ravens May Want Another Viking

The Purple Teams.

About three weeks ago, VikingsTerritory reported that Baltimore Ravens were interested in trading for Minnesota Vikings wideout Adam Thielen this offseason and around the time the teams bartered over defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.

Ngakoue was shipped last autumn to Baltimore for a 3rd-Round draft pick in 2021, while the sought-after assets, Adam Thielen and Irv Smith Jr., remained in Minnesota. No such luck for the Ravens.

Well, the Thielen trade talk resurfaced this month when the Vikings were linked to curiosity about Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr.

And this time, EDGE rusher Danielle Hunter is in the mix, too.

The trade-for-Brown jargon doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to begin with, but Ravens world is running with the idea of acquiring Thielen and/or Hunter.

Mike Natelli of EbonyBird.com perceives the hypothetical Hunter-for-Brown trade:

“Hunter is rumored to be seeking a pay raise, which is currently complicated by the fact he’s coming off a neck injury. While that’s not exactly ideal, those two factors could allow the Ravens to gamble on getting a true star pass rusher for below market value, take 2021 to see if he’s truly recovered, then revisit the contract situation next offseason.”

This transaction would indeed be earth-rattling for the Vikings and Ravens, but it is unlikely to come to fruition.

Trade-Hunter Is Not Real Yet

What we know for sure: Danielle Hunter is dissatisfied with his current contract. He earns an average of $14.4 million per season, ranking him around the 20th-highest-paid EDGE rusher in the NFL. When healthy, Hunter is a Top 5 defensive end per performance.

But he didn’t play in 2020 because of a neck injury. That’s really the kicker to Hunter’s discontentment. It is fair for him to want more money – yet asking for it directly after a neck injury puts the Vikings front office in an awkward position. If Hunter is not as formidable as his pre-2020 seasons, is it just tough cookies for the Vikings? A contract extension with a boatload of more money is reasonable for Hunter to seek, but asking for it after a potentially career-defining injury is strange to proffer with a straight face.

What’s more, all that can be ascertained at the moment is that Hunter wants more money. His situation is not necessarily akin to Stefon Diggs from 2020 when the now-Bills wide receiver flat-out disliked Minnesota’s offensive philosophy.

For now, the Vikings have not broached a “trade me” ultimatum with Hunter.

Brown Not a Fit for Vikings O-Line

The alleged Hunter-for-Brown swap is also a philosophically bizarre hypothesis. While Brown is a wonderful tackle, the Vikings utilize a zone-blocking offensive line scheme. Brown is a mountainous person in the mold of Bryant McKinnie from the 2000s, so it would be odd for Minnesota to scrap its longstanding scheme for a commodity like Brown. Stranger things have occurred, but Brown does not scream the type of tackle the Vikings normally pursue. Head coach Mike Zimmer’s offense generally employs a more nimble, smaller left tackle – and Brown is not small. He may be agile for his size – just not the norm for recent Vikings teams.

Trading for Brown – Hunter or no Hunter in the deal – is a head-scratcher.

Thielen Will Remain in Minnesota

It is unlikely that Thielen would be included in a Brown-Hunter agreement. Why? Because the Vikings have never shown any interest in jettisoning Thielen. The Minnesota State alumnus is a golden boy – arguably the most sentimental Vikings player story in team history. The widespread tale of his rags-to-riches ascension to WR1 is well-documented.

Ergo, if a deal was made that included Hunter and Thielen for Brown, well, there would be significantly more chips added to the pile on behalf of the Ravens. We’re talking multiple draft picks.

Hunter as a standalone talent is too much to offer for Brown. Sprinkling in Thielen – for whatever reason – would be asinine.

If the Hunter situation escalates dreadfully, his price tag will fetch something closer to what the Las Vegas Raiders accrued for Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears in 2018. Perhaps not the whole platter due to Hunter’s recent injury, but Mack’s deal commanded a compensation of two 1st-Rounders, a 3rd-Rounder, and a 6th-Rounder — for Mack, a 2nd Rounder, and a 7th-Rounder.

Dustin Baker

Writer. Host of Bleav in Vikings Podcast w/B-Mac & Baker.

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Noah Awinde
Noah Awinde
1 month ago

Ravens should first do this:

Bears get: Orlando Brown, Miles Boykin, 2022 7th

Ravens get: Allen Robinson, 2021 3rd, Bobbie Massie (reduced deal)

Then after that 5 days or a week before the draft if Hunter requests a trade they offer this to Minnesota:

Vikings get: 2021 1st, 2022 2nd and 4th, Trace McSorley and Jaylon Ferguson

Ravens get: Danielle Hunter and a 2022 5th

David U. Joseph
David U. Joseph
Reply to  Noah Awinde
1 month ago

Dreaming if you think that will get you Hunter.

MilesC
MilesC
Reply to  Noah Awinde
1 month ago

I don’t know what your smoking. Hunter is younger, cheaper, and better than Khalil Mack was when the bears traded for him. The bears traded two first round picks, and a third for Khalil Mack…. Rick Spielman is not going to accept less for Daniel Hunter…

MilesC
MilesC
1 month ago

I think it would be really lame of the Vikings to trade Daniele Hunter. Even with a pay raise, you don’t have to push him thru the roof. Just get him in the top ten, and then add years, make the contract voidable so he can prove the injury didn’t derail his career…. But they need him this season unless someone offers up a top ten pick and a second rounder

Glenn Curry
1 month ago

N0 player is worth multiple 1st rd. Picks. Unless it’s a prov
en franchise quarterback. Period !

MilesC
MilesC
Reply to  Glenn Curry
1 month ago

You might feel this way, but the Los Angeles Rams, Chicago bears are two teams in recent memory that have made this move… Khalil Mack wasn’t anywhere near the player Hunter has become, and he was traded for two firsts, and a third…. I wouldn’t expect Rick Spielman to accept any less for a guy whose younger, cheaper and better than Mack was at the time of that trade.. You can even argue that DE is more of a premium position than LEO.. if said Edge rusher can also play the run just as well, like Danielle Hunter can, than I would definitely argue that.

Greg B
Greg B
1 month ago

Why not ask us for Hunter or Theilen. We spent a 2nd on a defensive end and sold him for a 3rd. Seems we are pretty easy to deal with. Lol. Its like dealing with a madden team.

Joey Geary
Joey Geary
1 month ago

Im a rational Ravens fan. If we ever sent Brown to you guys, I don’t see us asking for both Thielen and Hunter. In reality, Orlando brown is a for sure Top 5 LT. I can see your point on the play style the vikings have, but I expect that its pretty hard to turn down such a great talent. If we were to go after Thielen, we would be asking for him and picks. I can see why you guys wouldn’t want to, considering how important Thielen is simply to the state of Minnesota itself. We don’t technically HAVE to trade Brown, we still have 2-3 years of control of him. And he won’t be allowed to hold out bc of clauses in his contract. If he sits out, he won’t get paid. So no offense, if either of the deals happen, you guys probably come out as losers. But its just because of the power we hold over Brown. If we’re going for Hunter we’d probably ask for less when it comes to picks because of his injury and payment he wants. Moral of the story, these trades will probably never happen unless the Vikings are willing to lose the trade.

Joey Geary
Joey Geary
Reply to  Joey Geary
1 month ago

I think Thielen is the more realistic trade though honestly

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