Who's hyped about Kwesi Adofo-Mensah? I know I am. Everything about him seems like the Vikings knocked it out of the park. And one thing that's nice about a high-risk high-reward guy like Kwesi is even if he fails, we should have a top 5 pick at the end of his tenure for the next GM (fingers crossed that never happens)!
If I'm Kwesi, I know this team can't win in 2022. So I'm doing everything I can this year to open up a window from 2023-2025 - which to me means getting as much value as we can out of aging players and re-setting our cap situation. (Yes, I'm shamelessly stealing this idea from Purple Daily). So what could we get in trades for these players? Here's my reckless speculation.
All the cap implications of my trades can be found at this link on spotrac
Cut: CJ Ham (save 1.9M)
Cut (but not really it's just the void year): Sheldon Richardson, Anthony Barr (save $0, incur $11M dead money)
Trade 1: The Blockbuster
MIN sends: Kirk Cousins, Adam Theilen, pick 46 (alternative: Kirk Cousins, Adam Theilen)
CLE sends: Baker Mayfield, pick 13 (alternative: Baker Mayfield, pick 44, 103, 2023 2nd)
Cleveland's top 10 defense and top 10 OL now gets paired with a top 10 skill group and top 12 QB. This is an all in possible super bowl move for Cleveland. The cap sheet doesn't even suffer too badly because the Vikings pay a decent amount of Kirk's contract for 2022, half of Theilen's 2022 hit, and take back Baker's full salary (0 dead money if traded)
The Vikings eat oodles of dead cap in this scenario but get a clean sheet and a first round pick. We could draft Lindebaum and Olave so that our 2023 QB can walk into a perfect situation, or get Malik Willis while still landing one of Lindebaum/Olave.
Trade 2: Brady's Last Hurrah
MIN sends: Dalvin Cook
TB sends: Tyler Johnson, 2023 5th round pick
Dalvin will only cost his acquiring team 1.9 million dollars. If you've got championship aspirations, that's a steal. Tampa dips into their deep WR room to give Brady a top 5 back in the league and a true weapon out of the backfield (the difference between Cook and Fournette as pass catchers is... immense to say the least). Plus, imagine if Dalvin was running behind a capable OL?
The Vikings get out from under a bad contract (although the dead cap in 2022 is substantial), who is about to age out of his prime (name the last star 30yo RB. I'll wait) and get a talented young WR to complete a trio with Jettas & Osborne.
Trades 3-5: Defenders join Contenders
KC sends: Pick 133 (rd 4), 2023 6th (ignore the player listed in spotrac)
MIN sends: Eric Kendricks
LAR send: 139 (rd 4) 2024 7th
MIN sends: Harrison Smith
BAL sends: 138 (rd 4)
MIN sends: Michael Pierce, 183 (rd 6)
All of these trades give a key defender to a team in a superbowl window at a position of their greatest need. In all 3 trades, ~1/2 of the 2022 cap hit is paid by the Vikings in dead money. The compensation is modest, but for defensive players on the wrong side of 30, it's about market rate.
Where does that leave us?
29M in 2022 cap space, with approximately 90-100M in 2023 cap space.
2 1st round picks
0 2nd round picks
1 3rd round pick
3 4th round picks
1 5th round pick
2 6th round picks
1 7th round pick
3 additional future picks (2023 5 via TB, 2023 6 via KC, 2024 7 via LAR).
One of the leagues youngest rosters full of talent at key positions (but also with lots of holes to fill). IMO, you need blue chippers at the following positions: QB, WR, LT, RT, CB, DE, DL
The Vikings would have (all 27 or younger) their blue chips at WR, LT, RT, DE. Which puts us just needing QB, CB, DL
What do you all think? Is it time to hit reset and get rid of everyone over 30?