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Minnesota Vikings Possibly Looking to Deal Bryant McKinnie?

Yesterday, I speculated about the Vikings making a trade for a player that would make a huge positive impact or their roster and on their fortunes for 2008.  (Key word there being speculated.)  Today, it's come out that a local columnist is talking about another potential Vikings' trade. . .one that a lot of us probably wouldn't have seen coming prior to the off-season getting underway.

Grandpa Sports (© 10,000 Takes) at the Star-Tribune is speculating that the Beloved Purple might be actively looking to trade starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie in the wake of his being arrested and charged with assault in Miami last month.

It might take some convincing from Rick Spielman, Vikings vice president of personnel, and Vikings coach Brad Childress for club owner Zygi Wilf to keep Bryant McKinnie after the offensive lineman was charged with a felony and three misdemeanors after a brawl outside a Miami nightclub.

And it's possible, and probably likely, that Spielman and Childress won't make any effort to keep McKinnie and they might be on the phone these days trying to make a deal for the former Miami star.

Now, let's remember something here.  This is coming from Sid Hartman.  Sid Hartman's Viking homerism is such that it makes my analysis of the Vikings seem level-headed, unbiased, and relatively sane.  So, if Mr. Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows is telling us that the Vikings are trying to move Bryant McKinnie. . .well, I think the Vikings might be trying to move Bryant McKinnie.

The obvious impact of such a move would be that offensive tackle would immediately shoot up the Vikings' priority list, perhaps even surpassing defensive end on that front.  Sadly, there really isn't a whole heck of a lot out there in free agency any more at that position.  The one semi-big name out there would be Max Starks of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he was given the transition tag by Pittsburgh, which means that they would have the right of first refusal on any offer sheet that Starks might sign.  We all remember what happened the last time the Vikings signed a guy that had been given the transition tag to an offer sheet, don't we?

This means that if the Vikings were to deal Mount McKinnie somewhere, they'd almost certainly have to address the position in the draft.  There's simply no way that the Vikings could go into the season with Ryan Cook or Artis Hicks potentially protecting Tarvaris Jackson's blind side.  So we would have to start looking seriously at guys like Jeff Otah from Pitt, Chris Williams from Vanderbilt, and even Godser Cherilus from Boston College.  This would also preclude us from taking a pass-rushing DE at #17, which I think is what Minnesota has been positioning themselves to do all off-season with the signings they've made in free agency.  They eliminated their needs at wide receiver and safety through free agency, and the only glaring need that remains is defensive end.  Unless the Vikings were to get a relatively high draft pick in return for McKinnie. . .which I would think, given McKinnie's circumstances, seems a bit unlikely. . .then the Vikings would almost have to bypass a DT in order to draft an OT.

Fortunately, the transition of any young LT would be made markedly easier by the fact that the Vikings have the best in the business, Steve Hutchinson, manning their left guard slot at the moment.  Hutchinson would certainly be a great help to any young offensive lineman, and would put less pressure on the youngster as he transitioned into the world of the National Football League.

I don't know if this is going to happen or not.  It's certainly something to keep an eye on as we get closer to McKinnie's 11 April hearing and the NFL Draft.

In other news, the Vikings signed two more free agents yesterday to one-year deals.  They signed DT Kendrick Allen, who hasn't played a regular season NFL game since 2006 (and even then only played 2 games before going on IR), and S Michael Boulware.  Fans of the Beloved Purple will probably remember Boulware as the guy that intercepted an ill-timed Randy Moss reverse option pass in a game between the Seahawks and the Vikings back in 2004.  He spent last year down in Houston as a backup with the Texans, and will supply some depth behind Darren Sharper and Madieu Williams.