Patrick Peterson and Eric Kendricks Trade Talk Is Media Manufactured

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) leaves the field after being ejected in the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports.

Almost all Minnesota Vikings-themed websites, including this one and its sister-site PurplePTSD, have opined about the recent “trade talk” involving linebacker Eric Kendricks and cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Kendricks and Peterson are veteran mainstays for the Vikings defense, so naturally, trade theories lassoing the two men are tantalizing for discussion.

Yet, it’s important to note the source of the Kendricks and Peterson trade fodder — Bleacher Report.

The entire mini-circus about “should the Vikings trade Kendricks or Peterson” was created by a theoretical article from Bleacher Report. And the article was merely trade ideas, not credible hints of likelihood. Hell, it was called One Trade Each NFL Team Should Offer Before 2022 Training Camp Starts.

For some, after headline surfing, the takeaway is that Minnesota could be shopping Kendricks or Peterson. They’re not. Trading Kendricks or Peterson is simply the brainchild of Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report, who believes those men could thrive in Denver and Arizona, respectively.

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports.

Foremost, Wharton’s Kendricks proposal sends a 2nd-Round draft pick to the Vikings. While that’s swell, the Broncos, who’ve shown themselves as an astute front office led by former Vikings executive George Paton, are unlikely to offer a 2nd-Rounder for a 30-year-old off-ball linebacker. The asking price is high, and the Vikings have made no mention of Kendricks as a trade-block candidate. Off-ball linebackers are not as treasured a commodity as EDGE rushers, and Denver could reasonably sign Joe Schobert, Anthony Hitchens, Dont’a Hightower, or Danny Trevathan from the free-agent wire. They don’t need to spend a 2nd-Rounder on Kendricks. Plain and simple.

As for Peterson, well, the trade premise is even wackier. Peterson re-joined the Vikings as a free agent in March. He didn’t have to sign with Minnesota and was free to sign anywhere in the world. In the Wharton piece, the Vikings “send Peterson home” to Arizona for a 6th-Round pick. If the Vikings didn’t want Peterson on the 2022 depth chart, they were not obligated to re-sign the veteran defense a few months ago. Trading a guy who could’ve walked away in the first place is a little puzzling. And that’s part of the reason why the Kendricks and Peterson trade hypotheses were suspect in the first place.

Eric Kendricks
Eric Kendricks

If you’re banking on a trade of either man, you might be waiting for a long time. Jettisoning Kendricks and Peterson was one man’s hypothetical musings of how teams can improve this summer.

Don’t mix-and-match palpable trade rumors, like Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson from March, with Bleacher Report‘s “these would be good trade ideas” articles.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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