A New Trade Candidate Emerges for Vikings

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings need help at cornerback sooner or later. The club appears to be “waiting” for the 2023 NFL Draft to satiate the roster need. Otherwise, Duke Shelley would’ve been re-signed instead of heading to the Las Vegas Raiders, or current free agents like Rock Ya-Sin or Shaquill Griffin would be onboarded.

But if the club wishes to bypass free agency or minimize the necessity of the draft for a starting cornerback, a promising free agent with ties to general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wants out of his current situation.

A New Trade Candidate Emerges for Vikings

He’s Greg Newsome II of the Cleveland Browns, and he reportedly requested a trade Tuesday.

Candidate Emerges for
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports.

Browns reporter Brad Stainbrook tweeted right after Newsome obtained a new agent, “Source: Browns Greg Newsome would like to be traded.”

Stainbrook immediately followed the tweet with more context, “It’s hard to believe the Browns, fresh off hiring a new defensive coordinator, will want to deal Greg Newsome still on his rookie contract. Ultimately, Newsome is changing agents because he believes it puts him in the best position to be traded.”

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports.

Soon after the Stainbrook tweets, ESPN’s Adam Schefter thickened the plot, suggesting Newsome is happy in Cleveland via tweet, “Amidst speculation that his client Greg Newsome wants to be traded, agent Drew Rosenhaus met today in Cleveland with the team to discuss Newsome’s future role there. ‘Greg is happy to be with the Browns,’ Rosenhaus said. ‘Everything was very positive and Greg is happy with his role and playing for new DC Jim Schwartz.'”

So, something is fishy here, and Newsome could be on the trade block, especially with a new agent like Drew Rosenhaus.

If the Newsome situation culminates in a trade, the Vikings could be suitors for two reasons a) Adofo-Mensah was a part of the Browns front office when Newsome was drafted two years ago b) Minnesota needs starting cornerbacks — plain and simple.

David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports.

Cleveland scooped Newsome from Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft with the 26th pick, three spots below Minnesota’s selection of Christian Darrisaw. He’s played 27 games with the Browns, starting 26, and fired up an 85.6 passer-rating-against as a rookie and an 84.6 in 2022. His 69.1 grade from Pro Football Focus was a commendable building block for a 22-year-old. Newsome will turn 23 next month.

Newsome’s theoretical price tag is mysterious at the moment, but he can probably be obtained for a mid-round pick. And if the Vikings are interested, he’d immediately be a surer thing than any 3rd- or 4th-Round cornerback from this month’s draft.

Adofo-Mensah has shown his affinity for trading assets away and landing former 1st-Rounders — see: Jalen Reagor and T.J. Hockenson — and Newsome is actually one of “his guys.”

Before too long, the Vikings need cornerbacks from somewhere, so monitor the unfolding of Newsome’s maybe trade request.

UPDATE: Brad Stainbrook has now clarified that Newsome does not want to be traded.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.