Rick Spielman Should Keep Phone and Draft Picks in His Pocket Today

Photo: @Vikings – Twitter

Happy NFL trade deadline (3PM CT) day to those who celebrate! The Minnesota Vikings have new roster holes opening up every week so the phone are ringing at the perfect time, right?

Even before the Cowboys matchup, it made sense for Rick Spielman to shop around for a cornerback, after Patrick Peterson went down with an injury. CB is still an obvious weakness, if you watched Cam Dantzler and Bashaud Breeland get cooked by Cooper Rush, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper on Sunday Night Football.

Then yesterday, it broke that Danielle Hunter would miss the rest of the season with a pectoral injury. That meant the Vikings would have to go without two of their most important defenders for, at least, the next few weeks. With a 3-4 record and a gauntlet schedule upcoming, it might be a good time to trade for some nice replacement pieces before the traded deadline… right?

Wrong. If advising Rick Spielman, I’d strongly lobby against a knee-jerk trade to replace Hunter, Peterson or in any effort to bolster the roster in a significant way. This season isn’t worth spending draft capital on anymore.

The Vikings aren’t good enough to be buyers

If the Vikings had played in a respectable manner during their loss to a Dak Prescott led Dallas Cowboys, we might be having a different conversation. But they didn’t. They played terribly (out of a bye week) and lost to a backup unknown QB, Cooper Rush.

Even before the bye week, Zim’s squad could barely dispose of teams lead by Jared Goff and Sam Darnold. In other words, the fall off we saw on Sunday Night Football was foreseeable. The 2021 Minnesota Vikings are annoyingly average. They sit at 18th in points per game and 13th in points surrendered per game.

A now sub-.500 Vikings will face three-straight playoff caliber teams (Ravens, Chargers, Packers) and they’ll do it without Danielle Hunter or Patrick Peterson. So someone tell Rick it’s not time to buy at the trade deadline. It’s time to accept that this isn’t a Super Bowl. It’s time to move on to the next era of Minnesota Vikings football.

There’s no way to replace Hunter without giving up significant draft capital and for what? Hope for a 9-8 season that may or may not get them into a playoff they will lose out of after one round? Even if they did have a comeback story, we’ve seen that movie before and it’s time to move on.

Spielman rarely makes a good trade

Let’s take a look at the last five trades Rick Spielman has made.

  • (10/23/21): DE Stephen Weatherly to Denver Broncos | FOR | a 7th-round pick
  • (8/31/21): ’22 4th-round pick to the Jets | FOR | TE Chris Herndon and a ’22 6th-round pick
  • (5/13/21): CB Mike Hughes and a ’22 7th-round pick to Kansas City Chiefs | FOR | a ’22 6th-round pick
  • (3/25/21): ’21 6th-round pick to Cardinals | FOR | OL Mason Cole
  • (8/30/20): ’21 2nd-round pick and a ’22 conditional 5th-round pick to the Jaguars | FOR | DE Yannick Ngakou (later traded to the Ravens for a third and fifth round pick)

There aren’t much for blockbuster moves here. Nothing like trading a 1st round pick for Sam Bradford in 2016 (which didn’t work out either). Spielman’s last significant move is listed above but it was executed in 2020, the trade for Yannick Ngakou. Another big mistake the GM admitted a month later by trading Ngakou away for a lesser package.

The Cole and Herndon transactions are just odd and unlikely to show anything positive by the end of the season. The Vikings could need heavy retooling in the offseason. Unfortunately, they only have three picks in the first four rounds of the 2022 draft, thanks to the Chris Herndon deal.

Vikings 2022 draft capital

Should we be upset if the Minnesota Vikings deal a 6th-round pick for a depth cornerback or defensive end? No, obviously not. But making a desperate splash at the trade deadline in an effort to make up for what you lost in Danielle Hunter or the insufficiencies you’ve seen in the secondary, would be foolish.

This team is frustrating because they already have the personnel to be a very good team. But it just won’t happen. Losing in primetime to Cooper Rush was the final straw. Mike Zimmer and Kirk Cousins are never winning a Super Bowl together in Minnesota so don’t waste draft picks desperately trying to make it happen.

Just stay away from the phone today, Rick.

Cooper Carlson | Minnesota Sports Fan