After a 1-4 start, the Vikings were rumored to trade multiple players, most notably Danielle Hunter. In the last year of his contract, it’s easy to see why the Vikings might be willing to trade him, but they aren’t the kind of team to just sell off parts when they have a chance to make a run.
This season, the Vikings have played better than their record indicates. They are 16th in overall DVOA while being 14th on offense and 15th on defense. That’s a massive improvement over last season and you can see i in the on field product.
The Vikings make an aggressive move last year in acquiring T.J. Hockenson at the trade deadline with the idea of signing him to be a pillar of the Vikings’ future. Could they try that again this season? There are players available that fit the bill, along with others that would be inexpensive one year rentals
The team really has only one area they need is up front on defense. The defensive line is undermanned and the pass rush needs depth with Marcus Davenport being unreliable so far this season.
Who could the Vikings target at the trade deadline to bolster their team for the rest of the season and beyond? We identified eight players the Vikings could potentially make a move for.
Draft capital and cap space
The Vikings have draft capital to maneuver with if they want to acquire a player before the trade deadline.
4th round (from Lions)
5th round (from Browns)
5th round (from Chiefs)
6th round (from Patriots)
The Vikings salary cap space gives them some flexibility with $7.95 million to work with.
Giants DL Leonard Williams
Williams is one of the more versatile defensive linemen in the game. He thrives pass rushing on the interior while being a disruptor as a 5T. The only real issue here would be the money that Williams is owed the rest of the year. His per game salary is slightly over $1 million which would have to be brought down to fit under the Vikings’ salary cap.
Commanders OLB Chase Young
Young looked like the next great pass rusher after his rookie season in the 2020 season. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL in 2021 and that cost him nearly two full seasons. In 2023, Young has looked more like the player that he was expected to become, but he doesn’t look to be in Commanders’ plans for the future. With a veteran minimum salary for the year, he wouldn’t impact the Vikings salary cap, but he would cost a significant amount of draft capital, as would his teammate.
Commander OLB Montez Sweat
Like his teammate Young, Sweat is also available for trade. A first-round pick in 2019, Sweat has lived up to it. Currently in his fifth season, Sweat has 5.5 sacks this season with 34.5 in his career. Sweat is currently on his fifth-year option, which would cost the Vikings around $6 million this season.
Like Young, the move would be expensive (potentially a first-round pick) along with a contract extension. It worked to trade for T.J. Hockenson and it could work here, especially with Marcus Davenport being flexible enough to play at 5T.
Titans NT Teair Tart
If you remember the Vikings’ preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, Tart was a dominant force and wreaked havoc on the Vikings’ offensive line. The Vikings don’t have that kind of player on the defensive line and he could make a major impact.
After the Titan trade safety Kevin Byard earlier this week, the Titans could be at the beginning of their own firesale and Tart would come at just over $250k per game.
Titans DE Denico Autry
The Titans have quite the defensive line but they haven’t been able to get any sort of momentum this season. Autry is an old-school 5T who is a powerful force against offensive linemen. With the Vikings needing someone who can provide that level of physicality, Autry would provide that and then some. He would cost slightly more than his teammate Tart does at about $400k per game, but its doable and wouldn’t cost much, as Autry is 33 years old.
Giants DL A'Shawn Robinson
Going into the season, it was rather surprising that the Vikings didn’t make a run at Robinson. A versatile defensive lineman, Robinson can play across the board and looked to be a rather suitable replacement for Dalvin Tomlinson. He signed with the Giants instead, but comes at a relative discount. He is making a base salary of $1.2 million with $1 million in roster bonuses. That would be relatively inexpensive for the Vikings and could be impactful on the defensive front.
Panthers OLB Justin Houston
Despite being in his 13th season and thought to be washed a few years ago, Houston continues to find a way to be productive. Last season, Houston had 42 pressures in 306 pass-rushing snaps and has nine in 88 this season. With a veteran minimum salary this season, Houston could give you production with limited snaps as a rotational player.
Patriots OLB Josh Uche
If the Vikings want to add a young pass rusher with speed, Uche is a great option. Only 25 years old, Uche is on the last year of his rookie contract and would require an extension to keep. Uche would likely cost a third round pick, but the Vikings don’t have one so they would have to get creative.
The Real Forno Show