The 4 Vikings Players Who Could Be Traded before Oct. 31 Deadline

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Depending on the outcome of the Minnesota Vikings Week 6 and 7 games, the club could hold an honest-to-goodness fire sale.

The 4 Vikings Players Who Could Be Traded before Oct. 31 Deadline

The Vikings play the Chicago Bears this weekend, and if they lose, they will stare at a 1-5 record with the best team in football on the way to Minneapolis in the San Francisco 49ers — with the team’s best player, Justin Jefferson, on the shelf for at least a month.

One or two more losses would beg Minnesota to entertain the idea of an in-season rebuild, meaning a handful of players could hit the trade block.

And if general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah does sell assets, it’ll be these players. They’re listed alphabetically.

1. Andrew Booth (CB)

Traded before Oct
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The Vikings selected this cornerback in the 2nd Round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s first on the job, and in 2023, they’re not really utilizing him.

Of course, that likely indicates his maturation isn’t on par with a starter’s workload and that Byron Murphy, Akayleb Evans, and Mekhi Blackmon are better CB options.

But Booth has played just four defensive snaps in his sophomore season, all against the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend. Booth will probably remain with the club in 2023 and beyond, but it wouldn’t be terribly strange if Adofo-Mensah flipped him to a CB-needy team for a late-round draft pick.

2. Ezra Cleveland (LG)

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Minnesota signed Dalton Risner over three weeks ago and has not used him on offense. In theory, if a Super Bowl-contending team needed a sturdy left guard or even a tackle — Cleveland played OT in college — the Vikings could trade Cleveland and start Risner.

This year is scheduled as Cleveland’s last in Minnesota, as his rookie contract expires in a few months. If the Vikings aren’t in the mood to pay Cleveland a large second contract, well, they have Risner in waiting and could snag future draft capital for Cleveland in the next three weeks.

Cleveland is the NFL’s 10th-best guard through five weeks, according to Pro Football Focus. Those don’t grow on trees.

3. Kirk Cousins (QB)

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The most impactful name on this list by one million miles, yes, there’s a world where Adofo-Mensah sends Cousins to the Falcons, Patriots, Jets, Steelers, or Titans if the team hits a 1-5 or 1-6 record before Halloween.

Because of how the Vikings restructured Cousins’ contract this offseason, moving dead cap into the future, his hypothetical new 2023 team would only have to eat less than $10 million for his services the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Cousins has a no-trade clause and can simply say “no” regarding any trade.

Yet, if Cousins wants it — it’s unclear if he does — the circumstances are ripe to offload him elsewhere. Minnesota would then “see what they have” in Jaren Hall and embrace its version of a tanked season.

4. Danielle Hunter (OLB)

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This man is the most likely Viking to venture elsewhere before the trade deadline, especially if Minnesota loses to Chicago and San Francisco in the next two weeks. Almost any team, unlike theoretical Cousins suitors, could receive a boost from Hunter, and playoff-caliber clubs love pass-rushing jolts midseason from men like Hunter.

The Vikings could probably fetch a 2nd-Round pick, maybe a 3rd- and 4th-Rounder, for Hunter, and Adofo-Mensah would be equipped with extra draft capital next April.

Like Cleveland and Cousins, Hunter will hit free agency next March if nothing new happens to his contract.

Hunter ranks second leaguewide in sacks as of October 11th and 20th in QB pressures.

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).

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