Debunked Ideas Aside, The Vikings Look to be Among the NFL’s Trade Contenders

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The offseason is a time when hypothetical trade scenarios flourish. No doubt, some of the ideas can be dimwitted, and yet there are also moments when the trade smoke points to a real fire.

Per the league website, there were eleven trades last March. Notably, several impact players got shipped out. Miami snagged Jalen Ramsey, Dallas added Stephon Gilmore, and Chicago landed D.J. Moore. Crucially, the Vikings look like strong contenders to jump into the upcoming trades, even with Justin Jefferson off the market (he was never on the market in the first place). Who is going to get moved once trades become possible in the NFL?

The Vikings Look Like Contenders to Join the NFL’s Trade Craziness

Apparently, the NFL is offering some high-end corners via trade: L’Jarius Sneed, Marshon Lattimore, and Carlton Davis.

NFL: AFC Championship-Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (38) celebrates as cornerback Trent McDuffie (22) recovers a fumble against Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers (4) and wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) for a turnover during the second half in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Sneed, in particular, looks like an excellent fit for the Brian Flores defense. The rumblings are that the franchise tag is the precursor to being traded.

He thrived last season while snagging 900 snaps out wide while having just 23 in the slot, 35 along the defensive line, and 31 in the box. In 2022, though, Sneed moved into the slot for 546 snaps while being along the outside for 361 snaps. The 2021 season featured an even more pronounced divide, seeing Sneed snag 543 slot snaps against 225 along the outside.

Go ahead and partner the versatility in coverage with his blitzing. He blitzed a dozen times in 2023 but was sent 40 times in 2022, 47 times in 2021, and 13 times in 2020. Any chance Flores would welcome a corner who can move all over the defensive backfield and who can also make plays behind the line of scrimmage?

Questions Answered: Vikings-Saints Prediction, Winston or Dalton, Growing Pains
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) runs between New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Alex Anzalone (47) and cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports.

And then one thinks of Lattimore, who has long been a thorn in Minnesota’s side. The New Orleans corner is a trade possibility, per Over the Cap. Jason Fitzgerald thinks that the cost could be as low as a 5th (a price point he derives from Jalen Ramsey commanding a 3rd last year). Of note: the cap implications of shipping him out make Fitzgerald think that waiting until after June 1st makes the most sense.

And then Jeremy Fowler notes that Carlton Davis is an option. The ESPN insider begins by describing the corner position in relation to trades: “Cornerback was a popular position of discussion in Indy, most notably for the trade market.” Fowler explains that “multiple teams are believed to be in the mix” for Sneed. To close out the CB section, though, Fowler mentions Lattimore and Davis. The Tampa Bay corner is 27 and has some excellent size (6’1″, 206), but he has never played more than 14 games in a season.

Elsewhere, Fowler reports that Panthers corner Donte Jackson is also being made available on the trade market.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) dives for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis III (24) and defensive end Logan Hall (90) in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota is sitting on roughly $38 million in cap space alongside nine selections in the 2024 NFL Draft. There’s an estimated $140 million in cap space in 2025 (roughly) and then seven selections in the 2025 NFL Draft.

In other words, Minnesota has the ammunition to pull off a swap or two.

Bringing things together is a GM who loves to trade and then a roster that needs help at several positions (with corner being a notable spot). And, of course, there’s the desire in Minnesota to compete sooner rather than later. Toss all of these factors together and is a trade possible? Yes, most certainly. Not a foregone conclusion but certainly something within the realm of possibility.

NFL teams can begin trading on Wednesday, March 13th at 3 p.m. CT.

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

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.