Good evening everyone! While all of you were watching the presidential debate, I was thinking about how quickly the Minnesota Vikings roster is going to get blown up. Much like politics, that answer depends on how much you trust the words that flow from Rick Spielman’s mouth.
It doesn’t sound like Rick Spielman & Co are interested in a full rebuild, given what the Vikings GM told media earlier today. Don’t expect to see the likes of Adam Thielen or Harrison Smith traded away, though he mentioned one by name today and not the other.
When asked about whether he has an aversion to the word "rebuild," Spielman noted how the team has Smith Jr., Thielen, Jefferson & Cook.
"I don’t know if you call that a rebuild or not … we want to win as many games as we can and that’s going to be our objective for the year"— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) October 22, 2020
For now, I’m going to assume Spielman’s intentions with this trade deadline stay the same between now and November 3. The Vikings won’t play another game before the deadline so there shouldn’t be anything that alters their current plan of action. Just because Rick won’t call this season a “rebuild”, doesn’t mean he’s going to stand pat. Some trades just make too much sense to avoid for a team that isn’t very good.
Trades You Should Expect to Happen
Riley Reiff | Compensation: 4th Round Pick
Reiff is being shopped harder tonight by Rick Spielman, than my angry wife trying to win Super Market Sweep. Teams all over the league need competent offensive lineman and Reiff is having possibly the best year of his career. The Titans are an option that’s been floating around all day, after their LT, Taylor Lewan, was sidelined for the season with a torn ACL.
The Vikings forced Riley into a paycut before the season and he’s not expected to return in 2021. Get what you can and move on. This would also give Ezra Cleveland the rest of the season to hone his skills at the position the Vikings envision him filling, left tackle.
Kyle Rudolph | Compensation: 5th Round Pick
If someone calls Spielman and offers a 5th round pick for Kyle Rudolph, he’d be gone before Rick could get the phone to his ear. Rudolph is in the middle of a contract that, after this season, has a lot of options for the team that employs him. With Irv Smith Jr already taking over the reigns, I don’t see that team residing in Minnesota.
Kyle Rudolph has been a face of this franchise for many years and a stand-up human, by all accounts. Hopefully he can land somewhere he has a chance to contribute to a Super Bowl run.
Anthony Harris | Compensation: 3rd Round Pick
We’ve been talking about trading Anthony Harris for what feels like decades. Unless the Minnesota Vikings plan to offer a contract they weren’t willing to offer last offseason, we may have finally seen the last of Harris in purple.
Anthony Harris is a bit trickier because, if the Vikings were to wait out the season and then let him walk in free agency, he’d garner the largest compensatory pick, likely a 3rd rounder. But that comp pick would be for the 2022 draft and not the 2021 draft. Can they get a 2021 3rd for him? If so, I think he’s gone.
Trades That Would Surprise Me
Adam Thielen: Spielman mentioned Adam by name, as a reason why he won’t call 2020 a “rebuild”. Unless Minnesota changes their tune and turns toward a full-on tank job, I don’t see Thielen leaving his home state.
Harrison Smith: Here’s another guy who would make a whole lot of sense to unload, if the Vikings were ready to admit they are in rebuild mode (tank mode). If they aren’t, it seems more likely that Smith gets a new contract this offseason that will lessen his cap hit for 2021, while making him richer since he’s one of the best safeties in the NFL still (at age 32).
Eric Kendricks: I could just put my replies to these on repeat. Kendricks is another defensive staple that the Vikings will need around if their turnaround is going to be done in an expedited manner. Unless Spielman is lying to us (wouldn’t be the first time), we’ll see Kendricks in purple for the foreseeable future.
WTF Just Happened Trades
Kirk Cousins: The biggest problem with trading or dropping Kirk Cousins, which has been discussed at length, is his contract. Would anyone take on a contract that they can’t get out of without paying Kirk Cousins a butt-load of money?
The Minnesota Vikings are essentially sitting on their hands until June 1, 2021. At that point, moving him starts to make more sense but still won’t be easy. Because of that, I expect Kirk to stick on roster for the rest of this season. The 2021 draft (April) could dictate what happens with Kirk before next season.
If the Vikings land a top-5 pick and draft a QB, who knows what they would do next.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan