Bleacher Report’s Recommendation to Fix Vikings

Jun 14, 2022; Costa Mesa, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) during minicamp at the Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings lost to an 0-2 team without its top playmaker (Austin Ekeler) by four points — at home.

The Los Angeles Chargers salvaged their season after an 0-2 start, leaving the Vikings searching for answers with a date at Adam Thielen’s Panthers on the docket this weekend. 

Bleacher Report’s Recommendation to Fix Vikings

Minnesota is an early three-point favorite to win. 

And to turn the season around, which feels like a longshot after four consecutive losses dating back to the 2022 postseason, Bleacher Report has a recommendation for the Vikings — get on the phone and trade for cornerback J.C. Jackson, a healthy scratch from the team that just beat the Vikings.

to fix
Oct 17, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) attempts to catch the ball as Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) defends in the first quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The expensive cornerback oddly didn’t play against Minnesota, with no real explanation as to why. There’s also no indication that Los Angeles is chomping at the bit to trade Jackson, but if the would-be turmoil continues, Bleacher Report claims Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah should target Jackson.

BR set the table for the Vikings season to date, “While quarterback Kirk Cousins’ future will come into question with one more year on his contract, the Vikings have bigger issues on the defensive side of the ball. Over the last two weeks, Minnesota has allowed 62 points while Cousins has thrown for nine touchdowns and two interceptions.”

Sep 11, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) warms up before the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Jackson is the NFL’s seventh-richest corner per average annual value, and it is unclear where the Vikings would find money to pay for his contract.

“In the NFC North, a division without a dominant team, Minnesota shouldn’t flush its season down the toilet despite the difficult pathway to a playoff berth. With that said, if the Vikings want to turn their season around and remain competitive with Cousins under center, they need to make a move for a defensive playmaker. Perhaps call the Chargers for cornerback J.C. Jackson, who was a healthy scratch on Sunday,” BR added.

Lottery Ticket QB
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Jackson, 27, is a one-time Pro Bowler and one-time 2nd-Team-All Pro. He also won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in 2018.

Minnesota’s defense was sliced and diced by Jackson’s teammate, Justin Herbert, for 405 yards on Sunday, so the secondary was pretty woeful. Trading for Jackson would likely entail a bench role for Akayleb Evans or Byron Murphy, an unlikely forecast for either player after just three games.

Nov 28, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) reacts after intercepting a pass in the Tennessee Titans end zone in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports.

Jackson played five games for the Chargers in 2022, his first season in Los Angeles, tabulating an abysmal 28.7 Pro Football Focus grade. He then suffered a non-contact patellar tendon rupture in Week 7, shelving him for the remainder of 2022.

Bleacher Report may have the best intentions for the Vikings-themed suggestion, but Minnesota is unlikely to trade draft capital for an expensive cornerback who was recently injured and performed terribly before the injury. 

Depending on the outcome of the next few games, the Vikings may roll with the current roster and let the chips fall on the 2023 season. 

 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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