Could the Vikings Add Their WR3 Through Trade?

KIrk Cousins
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is fast approaching, and with needs still existing all over the field, the Vikings seem prepared to take a “best player available” approach. With so many talented skill players this year, and the unpredictability that is the NFL Draft, it’s probably smartest not to get attached to any one player. That said, while the Vikings still need to add a WR3 to their squad, it is lower on the list of needs than offensive line or defensive end. 

 

After Larry Fitzgerald’s retirement, options are still available in free agency, but the seeming lack of pursuit makes me skeptical that anything will come to fruition. Guys like Golden Tate, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Danny Amendola are out there; however, all have been connected to teams outside of Minnesota to this point. 

 

There is still one route to acquiring a new WR3 that hasn’t been discussed much, though. The Vikings could swing yet another trade to bring a new wide receiver into town. That said, the trade would have to be with a team willing to give up a solid receiver that could conceivably contribute immediately for the Vikings.

 

Enter the Washington Football Team. Washington has an embarrassment of riches at receiver. They already had Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas, and two incredible receiving backs in Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, but the additions of both Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries creates a great receiving corps for new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

 

Because they have so many options at receiver, Washington may be open to trading 25-year-old Cam Sims. Washington recently tendered the restricted free agent to prevent him from hitting the open market. Rightly so. While McLaurin battled through injuries in 2020, Sims stepped up towards the end of the season. 

 

After being targeted just three times over his first two NFL seasons, Sims was thrown to 48 times in 2020, catching 32 passes for 477 yards and a TD. He also had a monster game in the wild card round against Tampa Bay, catching seven passes for 104 yards.

 

However, while Sims played the outside a lot last year due to his 6’5 frame, he is versatile as a receiver. In fact, he took many snaps in the slot at Alabama. It’s an atypical spot for someone of his size, but Sims has proven he can produce as a slot guy. 

 

This is where the Vikings come in. Sims will make just $2.1 million in 2021, so his salary is not an issue. Since he can be used in the slot, Sims would fit perfectly with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Jefferson also took a lot of snaps from the slot at LSU, so both he and Sims could mix up where they play throughout the year. Not only can Sims be a massive, versatile target, but he took a number of snaps both at Alabama and Washington on the special teams. His blocking ability proved valuable to both squads.

 

The trio could create a lethal offense for Minnesota. Sims averaged 15 yards per reception in 2020, but what really stood out was his after-the-catch playmaking. He averaged a dazzling 7.8 YAC, which ranked second in the entire league. 

 

Finally, as much as Vikings fans like to debate the abilities of Kirk Cousins, it’s undeniable that he is a step up from the Alex Smith/Dwayne Haskins/Kyle Allen/Taylor Heinicke quartet that threw to Sims in 2020. The fact that Sims maintained a 68% catch rate with this group is pretty dang impressive for essentially a first-year receiver. Sims’ abilities would certainly add the extra threat that Minnesota would need, and he more than likely wouldn’t cost more than a fifth or sixth round draft pick.