The Vikings Could Use Xavier Rhodes to Trade for Antonio Brown… but Should They?

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I can’t avoid it any longer. After a full weekend of Antonio Brown click and social media bait, I’ll finally bite. Antonio Brown came to a Timberwolves’ game that was televised on ESPN last week, right after he requested to be traded away from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Apparently, stopping by to watch a big basketball game that Adam Schefter is at, means you want to be traded to that same city to play on their football team.

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It’s all fun twitter fodder but I wasn’t ready to give it any of my time. Then this morning, I heard Paul Allen of KFAN divulge into the topic on his 9AM to Noon radio show and his take (which he admitted was an e-mailer’s idea) on the situation intrigued me. It involved trading Xavier Rhodes, which I had proposed earlier this offseason (just not for AB). Defensive Back is one of the deeper positions on the Vikings’ roster and this would also give Zim the chance to draft another young DB to groom, earlier in the draft rather than later.

Should the Vikings Pull the Trigger on this Blockbuster?

Antonio Brown is a game-changer and any team who adds him to their roster will clearly be more talented. If you have the chance to grab a guy like Brown, you are doing your team a disservice if you don’t at-least investigate. So, that’s where you start, when looking at adding a player like Brown.

He’s really good.  ✅

Now, let’s look at the money. The Vikings could make it work if they use Rhodes as the main piece to the deal. The Vikings would only have $9ish Million additional dollars against the team cap for 2019, than before the trade was made, and actually less going forward (Brown contract details | Rhodes contract details). Throw in a franchised Anthony Barr or an expiring Kyle Rudolph and the money isn’t as bad to make up as you might have thought, coming in. That’s why Rhodes is key in the deal.

Now, there are rumors that Brown wants a new contract and more money from the team he gets traded to… If that’s the case, then I guess I’m out. The Vikings are already strapped for the next few years and adding Brown doesn’t address any of the major team needs at LB, TE, and OL. Unless you can figure out a way to make it team and Brown-friendly… I wouldn’t want any changes. His current contract starts looking better for the team as it goes on but it’s still $18-19 million for him.

Antonio Brown makes your team a lot more talented and, if you could make the money work (as currently constructed), It’s a no-brainer, right?

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No. You still stay away from Antonio Brown. Why?

Because the Vikings have already proven to have a fragile locker room at times. We like to think of Mike Zimmer as a great coach and uniter, and many times, he’s been exactly that. His players also rave about him most of the time.

However, from the slaughtered fat cats meltdown of 2016, to the Eagles NFCCG flop, to the 2018 season that was marred by the death of Tony Sparano and mental breakdown of Everson Griffen… to so many other instances in between, the Vikings have shown the inability to keep their heads above water in the name of winning games, when facing drama on or off of the field.

If you’re the Vikings and you want to be as successful as possible in 2019, avoiding drama could be a very key component.

Antonio Brown is drama. So, the Vikings need to avoid Antonio Brown.

*DISCLAIMER: I knew there was no chance of this trade happening before I wrote this but still took an hour of my time anyway… I’m part of the problem.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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