Here’s Why the Vikings Didn’t Pull Trigger on Splashy Trade

Vikings Rumors
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings were indeed a part of the L’Jarius Sneed sweepstakes.

Here’s Why the Vikings Didn’t Pull Trigger on Splashy Trade

Before the start of free agency, USA Today’s Tyler Dragon wrote Tuesday, “As expected, the Kansas City Chiefs officially placed the franchise tag on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. Sneed still has permission to seek a trade despite the designation. A person with direct knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports that the Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars have expressed interest in the Chiefs corner. The person told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.”

vikings
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) pulls in a catch while pursued by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (38) during the first quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. © Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

That established the Vikings as a trade landing spot for Sneed, but last weekend, the star cornerback ultimately joined the Tennessee Titans via trade for a 3rd-Round pick and late-round pick swap.

Fast forward to a week later, and more clarity emerged about Minnesota’s role in the trade talks. Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney tweeted Friday, “L’Jarius Sneed to the Titans is finally official. Interesting note on Chiefs’ process: I’m told there was discussion regarding Sneed with the Vikings, who considered an offer of a 2024 fourth and 2025 third. Ultimately long-term health concerns made Minnesota withdraw. Titans were OK there, and Sneed passed their physical. Sneed gets a well-deserved long-term contract, and Tennessee acquires a true lockdown corner.”

Impasse with Kirk
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Interestingly, Sneed has only missed 10 games in four seasons, so it’s not like the man is a magnet for injury. The Vikings, too, haven’t been afraid to sign injury-prone free agents since Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took over two years ago. Marcus Davenport can tell you all about it.

Perhaps the young executive learned his lesson. Sneed reportedly had a lingering knee injury last summer.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports.

Moreover, according to KSTP’s Darren Wolfson, Sneed wanted to play in Minnesota. Wolfson explained Sneed’s apparent desire to play for Brian Flores on SKOR North’s Mackey and Judd Show about two weeks ago: “There hasn’t been any movement on L’Jarius Sneed, but I’m told, all things relatively equal, he wants to play for Brian Flores. Like L’Jarius Sneed, the Chiefs cornerback, he would love to be here.”

Sneed hasn’t registered Pro Bowl or All-Pro kudos yet but probably should have in 2023. He fired up an incredible 56.2 passer-rating-against last year while his team won the Super Bowl, too. The Titans corner was a 4th-Rounder from the 2020 NFL Draft, turned 27 in January, and is considered one of the NFL’s top defensive backs.

Vikings Trade
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

Now a member of the Titans — signing a fat four-year, $76 million deal upon his arrival — Sneed will now become one of the Vikings’ “what could have beens.” Fans love those, make no mistake.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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