Vikings Rumors: C.J. Ham’s Fate, Clearing Cap Room, & Trade Bonanza

Jan 8, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (5) returns an interception against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve officially transitioned into the portion of the year when Vikings rumors are going to be coming fast and furious.

As a result, I’m returning to the “Vikings Rumor Wrangle,” a series I’ve leaned on previously to keep readers informed on what’s being whispered about in Vikings Land. In this iteration, we discuss the potential C.J. Ham cut, ways to clear cap space, and the wild trade rumors in the NFL.

The Vikings Rumors – 03.08.2023

Rumor #1: C.J. Ham May Not be Cut

For a little while, it has looked like C.J. Ham would be cut. Used sparingly in 2022, Ham’s large cap hit (for a fullback) made him a common name in the cut chatter.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings full back C.J. Ham (30) reacts to scoring a touchdown along with Minnesota Vikings tackle Brian O’Neill (75) during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

On The Star Tribune‘s podcast Access Vikings, there was some discussion of the Ham situation. “The Vikings intend on keeping C.J. Ham at fullback,” they explain. Much of the rationale stems from what kind of games were played last season.

Sure, the FB only played in 15% of the snaps on offense, but that’s largely the result of not having the lead very often: “They do want to run the ball more […] them keeping C.J. jibes with that.”

Ham turns 30 in July.

Rumor #2: The Vikings Have Some Easy Ways to Clear Cap Space

Indeed, they certainly do. Perhaps the most logical starting points are with the deals for T.J. Hockenson and Brian O’Neill.

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants cornerback Rodarius Williams (left) and safety Landon Collins (21) right) tackle Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) during the third quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Extending the former while restructuring the latter could completely eliminate the team’s remaining cap debt. The benefit is twofold: clearing plenty of cap space and retaining two excellent players.

That being said, there are plenty of other moves that could be made. A Kirk Cousins extension, though controversial, remains likely. Several cut candidates remain even without including Ham in that list. We may even see the Minnesota GM trade out a player or two.

In the end, the Vikings have a lot of ability to supercharge their budget.

Rumor #3: The NFL Has a Pile of Trade Rumors Circulating

During this portion of the offseason, speculation thrives. Even still, the sheer amount of trade rumors involving huge-name players is noteworthy.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers
Dec 19, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass while under pressure from Los Angeles Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Players like Leonard Floyd, Jalen Ramsey, DeAndre Hopkins, and Derrick Henry are all getting into the trade headlines. Floyd is an interesting name, finishing 56th in the PFF rankings for edge rushers in 2022. He did, however, offer 9 sacks and 10 TFLs. Both Floyd and Ramsey know Kevin O’Connell given their shared time in LA.

Previously, we’ve discussed some of Minnesota’s trade candidates, arguing that’s it’s the lesser-known players whom teams might be calling about. After all, how many teams want to send out draft capital for aging players with large contracts and declining statistics? Alas, I’ve been wrong before (more times than I’d care to admit), so we’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, simply enjoy the crazy trade speculation swirling around the NFL.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference, PFF, and Over the Cap helped with this piece.