USA Today Names One Viking to Be Traded at the Deadline

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Oli Udoh. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

With the NFL trade deadline just eight days away, plenty of chatter about potential trades has happened across the league over the past couple weeks. On Monday morning, USA Today‘s Christan D’Andrea named one player from each team that could be traded prior to the deadline, including the Minnesota Vikings. The Viking that they named to be traded is OL Oli Udoh.

The Vikings moving some of their depth at offensive line makes sense. Overall, Minnesota has four very solid starters this year, including center Garrett Bradbury. As long as health remains on the Vikings side, there should be no midseason shuffling of the lineup. This is a far cry from last season where the Vikings offensive line was a game of musical chairs for much of the year.

Part of the shuffling last year involved Udoh, who made 16 starts in 2021 between right guard and left tackle. After being a sixth-round pick in the 2019 Draft, this was the first time he got consistent playing time in his career.

Even still, it was a mixed bag for Udoh who put up a PFF grade of 54.4. He became notorious for penalties by the end of the year as well, racking up a league-leading 16 flags. Here is D’Andrea’s reasoning for moving the depth lineman:

Udoh was a starter in 2021 but has played three snaps in 2022. The interior lineman wasn’t especially good — a 54.1 PFF grade last fall — but he’s big, fairly young and has experience. He’s only a solution for a desperate team, but the Vikings don’t have much reason to sell after staking a significant lead over the rest of the NFC North to start the season.

Christian D’Andrea on Oli Udoh

It’s true, he likely is only an option for a team desperate for offensive line help, but there are a number of those teams across the league right now. There are a number of those across the league right now, though, especially in the NFC.

However, it must be stated that this trade scenario could be for naught considering that Udoh was arrested over the weekend in Miami. The Vikings are reportedly “gathering information” on the situation before proceeding.

If Udoh cannot be dealt due to this ongoing situation, the Vikings still have depth pieces that can be traded. Last week, I suggested a move could be made involving Chris Reed in order to free up cap space to obtain a player in the secondary.

Reed is yet to be activated by the Vikings this season despite carrying a cap hit of $1.75 million. Meanwhile, Udoh carries a hit of just over $1 million. Reed’s talent suggests he should be playing somewhere in this league, so if the Vikings were to trade a lineman in the coming week, that move makes much more sense.

Either way, the deadline is fast-approaching. There should soon be an avalanche of moves from contending teams to improve their rosters. The Vikings may find themselves in the midst of that avalanche.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.