Recapping the 3 Vikings Trades

Recapping the 3 Vikings Trades
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 01: Jalen Reagor #18 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on November 1, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Recapping the 3 Vikings Trades

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is a former commodities trader on Wall Street, and it shows. He made trade after trade during the NFL draft, and fans had difficulty keeping up with the moves. Adofo-Mensah is a strategic mind and apparently tries not to look at circumstances outside of football.

PurplePTSD: Vikings Roster Trimmed, Now or Never for Tretter, McVay's Influence
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

He waived three of the Vikings’ four 2021 third-round picks without hesitation. If a player can’t play, he won’t be part of Adofo-Mensah’s roster. He also clearly wants to have his guys. The only of his ten draft picks that ended up outside of the 53-man roster is Nick Muse. However, the tight end was immediately signed to the practice squad.

In less than 24 hours, Adofo-Mensah pulled off three trades, traded away one player, and received two players in the process.

Ross Blacklock

The deals started with Blacklock. The defensive tackle was a 2020 second-round pick and played for the Texans throughout the last two seasons. He hasn’t been a liability but couldn’t live up to expectations. Blacklock played in 29 games for the Texans.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) prepares to launch a pass under pressure by Houston Texans defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. © Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Shockingly, the Vikings cut Armon Watts. That’s where Blacklock will try to get his snaps. He has to go up against James Lynch, Esezi Otomewo, and Jonathan Bullard.

Adofo-Mensah gave up a sixth-round pick for Blacklock and a seventh-round pick.

He also saved the Vikings over $1 million in cap space. The Vikings are banking on Blacklock’s potential to pick up the slack. Watts had a breakout campaign in 2021, but his statistics, especially the five sacks, were inflated by a low double-team rate.

Another aspect is the low percentage of actually playing with three defensive tackles on the field. On most plays, the Vikings will play with a nickel cornerback and just two interior defensive linemen. Nickel defense is the new base defense.

Jesse Davis

Dec 5, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jesse Davis. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports.

The offensive guard signed in free agency to become the new Vikings’ right guard. First, the Vikings signed some competition and brought in Chris Reed and later drafted Ed Ingram. He opened training camp as a starter, but Ed Ingram quickly turned heads and ran away with the starting job. After Davis lost the job, there wasn’t really any use for him on the roster, so Adofo-Mensah shipped him to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers gave up a conditional 2025 7th-round pick for Jesse Davis.

That’s about as little as a team can get for a player. The reason for that is his contract. It was virtually impossible to cut him because of his high guaranteed money. Cutting him would’ve cost the Vikings an additional $500,000 cap hit. However, the trade saved the Vikings $1.45 million. The Steelers get a backup with some position flexibility.

Teams shouldn’t want Davis as a starter, but he’s totally fine as a backup. The Vikings will roll with Ed Ingram as starting right guard. Austin Schlottmann and Chris Reed are the interior backups on the offensive line. The trade was essentially salary dumb. While the jury is still out on Blacklock, this trade was fruitful.

Jalen Reagor

Shock TRADE! Vikings Land Former 1st-Round WR
Sep 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

This trade is one for meme accounts on Twitter. The Eagles drafted Reagor with the 21st overall pick in the 2020 draft. Famously, the Vikings selected Justin Jefferson one pick later. Reagor has been a total failure in Philadelphia. The Vikings still gave up more than expected.

The Eagles receive a 2023 seventh-round pick and a 2024 fourth-rounder that would become a fifth-rounder if some statistical marks are not met in exchange for Reagor.

Just as controversial among Vikings fans is the waiving of Ihmir Smith-Marsette. The second-year player was fully expected to be the Vikings WR4 and the punt returner. Both roles are now likely occupied by Reagor. The receiver is just 24 years old and has massive untapped potential. The success of the trade will be determined by the fact that the Vikings can get him to reach that potential.

A fresh start and a new chance will help. Plus. Keenan McCardell is a great wide receivers coach. The veteran presence of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson could also help him develop. He might learn a few things in terms of route running.


Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt

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