Vikings Should Fire Off Player-for-Player Trade with Titans

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Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Tennessee Titans employ an underperforming player buried on the depth chart.

The Minnesota Vikings employ an underperforming player buried on the depth chart.

Vikings Should Fire Off Player-for-Player Trade with Titans

Minnesota’s general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was a coworker of Tennessee’s boss Ran Carthon for three years in San Francisco before both men took the big job with the Vikings and Titans, respectively. They know each other.

Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports.

Therefore, Adofo-Mensah should trade his 2022 1st-Round Draft pick, Lewis Cine, to Tennessee for Carthon’s 2022 1st-Round pick, Treylon Burks. Both men are stuck on depth charts with too many players in front of them. Cine and Burks will presumably live on summer roster bubbles. Each can find new life on the other’s team.

Most NFL trades involve draft picks. This one doesn’t need any. Burks joined the Titans in 2022 via the 18th overall pick in 2022. Cine followed 14 picks later at No. 32 to Minnesota. Of course, it’s not a lock for either to blossom on a new team, but Cine and Burks could receive honest-to-goodness auditions on the other guy’s squad.

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This is the Titans safety room in 2024, with 2023 Pro Football Focus grade:

  • Amani Hooker (67.5)
  • Elijah Molden (55.9)
  • Mike Brown (60.3)
  • Shyheim Carter (56.7)
  • Matthew Jackson (64.1)
  • Keaton Ellis (n/a)

Nobody over the grade of 68.0

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks (16) is introduced before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

And this is the Vikings’ WR depth chart after Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison, who have WR1 and WR2 on lock:

  • Brandon Powell (61.7)
  • Trent Sherfield (51.1)
  • Jalen Nailor (51.2)
  • Lucky Jackson (57.5)
  • N’Keal Harry (55.6)
  • Malik Knowles (n/a)
  • Thayer Thomas (n/a)
  • Trishton Jackson (n/a)
  • Ty James (n/a)
  • Jeshaun Jones (n/a)
  • Devron Harper (n/a)

For context, Cine produced a 66.3 PFF grade in 2023 on minimal snaps. Burks played 443 offensive snaps and accounted for an unsavory 52.4 score. The trade would be even straight up, with no draft picks needed for complication.

Predictions for Vikings Rookies
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Otherwise, the Titans will roll into the summer of 2024 with Burks on tap to grab a WR4 job — as his ceiling. That should afford the former 1st-Rounder about 20-40 targets this season. Cine, on the other hand, will either get released in August or be relegated to fourth or fifth safety duty. Those are the options for each. Burks won’t surpass DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, and Tyler Boyd on the depth chart; Cine won’t slay Harrison Smith, Josh Metellus, or Camryn Bynum. The two are in virtually the same spot — trapped by veterans in front of them.

So, it’s that simple. Cine for Burks. Everyone wins.

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