Vikings Somehow ‘On the List’ for All-Pro Defender

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It doesn’t seem to make sense financially but don’t tell that to

The Minnesota Vikings rank dead last in the league right now per available cap space, but who’s counting when it comes to the Devin White sweepstakes, right?

Vikings Somehow ‘On the List’ for All-Pro Defender

ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported eight days ago about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker, “A ‘fed up’ Devin White, who’s entering his fifth year, has requested a trade from the Bucs.” On top of that, White is reportedly seeking around $20 million per season, a deal that would rival position-mate Roquan Smith’s deal in Baltimore.

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Outwardly, adding White in Minnesota sounds too rich for the team’s blood, but in theory, if his next contract extension is backloaded, perhaps the Vikings could enter trade orbit.’s Bucky Brooks analyzed the budding White sweepstakes late last week, and the Vikings were at the top of his list.

“It’s hard to know exactly what the Vikings’ broader plan is at the moment, with Kirk Cousins entering the final year of his contract. This franchise could be entering a transitional state, having moved on from franchise stalwarts Adam Thielen and — notably — Eric Kendricks. Especially given the Kendricks loss at linebacker, it could be difficult for Kevin O’Connell and Co. to turn down an opportunity to add a top-notch playmaker to the defense that could wreak havoc on opponents with new coordinator Brian Flores’ pressure packages,” Brooks explained.

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Since joining the NFL in 2019 as the fifth overall pick, White ranks first among off-ball linebackers in sacks, first in QB hits, 3rd in tackles for loss, and fourth in total tackles. White also checks in at fifth in forced fumbles.

“An elite blitzing linebacker with impeccable instincts and timing, White is a destructive force as a second-level pass rusher. The veteran’s skills perfectly match the aggressive tactics employed by Flores. Given the opportunity to acquire an accomplished playmaker in the middle of his prime, Minnesota could continue to chase a title while flipping the roster with some enticing new puzzle pieces,” Brooks concluded.

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Fundamentally and broadly speaking, adding White to the Vikings roster for September would be absolutely phenomenal and universally praised by fans. He’d presumably pair with second-year linebacker Brian Asamoah for the next three to five years, and Minnesota wouldn’t have to worry about anything regarding linebackers in the draft or free agency until about 2026 or so.

Yet, the Vikings must pay Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockeson this offseason. Jefferson will fetch the most money ever granted to a wide receiver, while Hockenson likely checks in at a Top 3 TE pay rate. After that, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah must re-sign left tackle Christian Darrisaw next offseason, and he, too, will command most-in-the-NFL pay.

Finding where White would fit in is challenging, as paying four men top dollar at their respective position leaves little cash to allocate everywhere else.

Meanwhile, the Vikings have just five picks at the moment for next week’s draft, so what capital would Adofo-Mensah use to trade for White? 2024 1st- or 2nd-Rounders that seem tentatively reserved for the quarterback after Kirk Cousins? The White theory is murky in that vein.

Brooks also suggested the Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and Denver Broncos as landing spots for White.

White turned 25 in February.

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).

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