Vikings Trade Theory Makes No Sense at All

Nov 6, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) and Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) wait for the snap during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports.

From the final week of June until the start of training camp — so, like, now — the NFL calendar undergoes an uncharacteristic deadzone.

And this year’s edition is so dry that folks are spitballing trades like Hunter Renfrow to the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings Trade Theory Makes No Sense at All

Hunter is a fine football player, but there’s really no room for him on the Vikings current depth chart, nor is there an emergent need at wide receiver.

Vikings Trade Theory
January 1, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) before playing against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

But don’t tell that to the guys and gals over at MSN and They somehow noticed Renfrow’s presence in a trade-candidates article from Bleacher Report and sneakily slipped the Vikings into the disclosure. Strange, indeed.

“He’s coming off of a down year where he had 36 catches for 330 yards but is just a season removed from catching 103 passes for 1,038 yards. Last season was the first year he had less than 600 receiving yards. There are teams that could figure out ways to utilize him but it might be best for him to get a fresh start. In a July 3 column, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report pegged Renfrow as one of the Raiders’ top trade candidates,” Heavy’s Austin Boyd wrote about Renfrow.

Sep 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Renfrow played in 10 games for the Las Vegas Raider last year, tabulating 36 receptions for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns. The year before, he recorded 1,038 receiving yards.

Boyd then got to work linking the Vikings to hypothetical Renfrow trade sweepstakes, “The Minnesota Vikings moved on from Adam Thielen and could use a new slot receiver. If the Vikings were willing to send Las Vegas a 2024 fourth-round pick and a fifth-round pick, that could be enough to get a deal done.”

Jan 15, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) attempts to catch a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

It actually seemed like Heavy took the Bleacher Report article about Renforw’s trade availability and created the Vikings as a theorized landing spot. The BR article made no mention of the Vikings, but the Heavy article was titled, Proposed Trade Sends Raiders’ $32 Million Star to Vikings.

Exploring a trade for Renfrow or a wideout of his caliber would make all the sense in the world — if Minnesota didn’t draft Jordan Addison with 1st-Round draft capital two months ago or didn’t employ K.J. Osborn or Jalen Nailor on the depth chart. Adding Renfrow in any capacity would merely cram an already crowded house at WR.

For context, these are the Vikings WRs at the moment:

WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2: K.J. Osborn
WR3: Jordan Addison
WR4: Jalen Nailor
WR5: Jalen Reagor
WR6: Brandon Powell
WR7: Blake Proehl
WR8: Trishton Jackson
WR9: Cephus Johnson
WR10: Malik Knowles
WR11: Thayer Thomas
WR12: Lucky Jackson
WR13: Garett Maag

Vikings Did the Madden Meme
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) and Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) dance during warmup prior to their game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

That’s a lot of dudes as-is, and trading draft capital for a player not at a position of need just doesn’t add up, especially a 4th- or 5th-Rounder.

The Vikings don’t need Renfrow — as a Thielen replacement or otherwise. That’s why they drafted Addison in April.

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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