While Kirk Cousins has been the central focus of much of the speculation relating to the Minnesota Vikings so far this offseason, it sounds like there could be numerous members of the purple on the trading block as we get closer to the start of the new league year.
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, the Vikings are reportedly open to trading numerous veteran players.
Several executives intimated they expect the Vikings to make multiple transactions. Much of the chatter has focused on quarterback Kirk Cousins and his huge contract and massive cap hit. But in general, league sources said the new regime in Minnesota is open to dealing several of their more high-priced veterans to try to reset the cap situation, add more draft picks and prepare for the future.
And the sense among some of the execs I spoke to is that the Vikings seem to understand that they aren’t in position by and large to hit home runs with these trades (which are more like salary cap dumps). Receiver Adam Thielen, linebacker Eric Kendricks, defensive tackle Michael Pierce, even running back Dalvin Cook are names making the rounds. I’d be surprised if a few were not moved.
The four players that LaCanfora lists in his piece represent four of the seven highest cap hits on the team for the 2022 season, according to Over the Cap.
- QB Kirk Cousins - $45,000,000
- DE Danielle Hunter - $26,120,000
- WR Adam Thielen - $16,945,000
- LB Eric Kendricks - $13,530,000
- S Harrison Smith - $13,465,882
- RB Dalvin Cook - $12,001,272
- DT Michael Pierce - $9,500,000
The Vikings would have to eat a lot of dead money on most of these contracts if they moved the players mentioned. Thielen, for example, would have a dead money hit of $11.1 million on the Vikings’ salary cap, though they would gain nearly $6 million in space. If he were to get traded after 1 June, that number would go down to $4.3 million in dead money and over $12 million in cap space, but I don’t think anyone’s waiting that long to make a deal.
It sort of sounds like the Vikings want to go with a full-on, “blow everything up and start over” rebuild, the likes of which we’ve never really seen as Vikings fans. It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the purple, and it all gets started in a little over a week.