Another Vikings Playmaker Tossed in Trade Rumor Mill

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NFL teams and general managers have 11 days to pull off trades, and after the October 31st deadline, that’s a wrap on deals for about three months.

The Minnesota Vikings could be sellers nearing the Halloween deadline, with a 2-4 record through six games.

Another Vikings Playmaker Tossed in Trade Rumor Mill

The two most popular trade theories for the Vikings include quarterback Kirk Cousins and outside linebacker Danielle Hunter. Cousins told the media last week, somewhat peeved, that he has no interest in waiving his no-trade clause, so the 35-year-old is likely staying put.

A couple of NFL personalities, including Jay Glazer and Dianna Russini, have even mentioned that the Vikings plan to keep Cousins for 2024.

Hunter is also a fascinating trade candidate, but Minnesota just put his teammate Marcus Davenport on the shelf for at least a month due to a high ankle sprain. It’s unlikely that Minnesota would embark on half the season with Hunter and Davenport off the field, but we shall see.

Then, there’s wide receiver K.J. Osborn.

Vikings Playmaker Tossed
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He’s the Vikings WR2 in title and WR3 per workload, and some believe he could shipped elsewhere in the next week and a half. KSTP’s Darren Wolfson said this week about a possible Osborn deal on SKOR North’s Mackey & Judd Show, “We knew the second Jordan Addison was drafted that K.J. Osborn wasn’t coming back, that this is the final year for K.J. Osborn here in Minnesota. Go make that move — if it’s for a four, three, a five. To me, that is very logical.”

For about a month, Osborn was on tap for uncontested WR2 duty in March and April, but then Minnesota selected Addison in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, totally changing Osborn’s 2023-and-beyond trajectory with the Vikings.

Lord Have Mercy. What Is This Team?
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The Athletic also nominated Osborn as a Vikings trade component. Alec Lewis explained, “He has multiple qualities that teams covet, and he can become a free agent at the end of the season. Osborn is dynamic after the catch. Among the 28 receivers this season who have run 200 routes, only three average more yards after the catch than Osborn: D.J. Moore, Ja’Marr Chase and A.J. Brown.”

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Osborn is on pace for 606 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns this season, a rather Osbornian statline. It is unclear if the fourth-year wideout would generate vast trade interest.

“Additionally, Osborn is a willing blocker whom Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell has used as a quasi-tight end in the run game. Then, there’s the contract situation. Free agency looms for the 26-year-old, which is part of the reason the team drafted Jordan Addison in the first round last spring,” Lewis added about Osborn’s trade stock.

Have a New Draft
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The Vikings placed Justin Jefferson on injured reserve last week, meaning he’ll miss at least three more games due to a hamstring injury. Like the Hunter trade rumor mill, it may be a bit odd to offload Osborn with the team’s best player on the shelf.

Meanwhile, Jalen Nailor, another Vikings wide receiver, is trending to return on a regular season field before too long after a hamstring IR trip of his own.

If general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah traded Osborn, he’d likely obtain a late-round draft pick in return.

Osborn turned 26 in June.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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