The Vikings’ Top 5 Trade Candidates with Training Camp Less Than a Month Away

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

With Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the helm, a Minnesota swap can never be overlooked as a possibility (22 Trades & Counting). Thus, the Vikings’ top 5 trade candidates.

Per the team itself, training camp will become open to fans on Saturday, July 27th. There is less than a month between now and when the public can start consuming Vikings football from the stands. Of course, the upcoming period is one of great roster shuffling as players compete for a limited number of spots. In all likelihood, Minnesota will look to move one or two players out via trade rather than lose them for nothing after a cut. Consider some of the player who could get shipped out.

The Vikings’ Top 5 Trade Candidates

#5 — Patrick Jones II, Edge Rusher
2024 Cap Hit: $1,549,576

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Patrick Jones II (91) enters the field before the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The 25-year-old edge rusher faces an uphill battle. Drafted by the former regime, Patrick Jones II is at best the fourth option but could have a tough time making the roster even if there are five or six guys kept around. Last season, Jones played in all seventeen games while starting four but only had a single sack.

The upside for an acquiring team is that he’s young, cheap, and has NFL size at 6’4″, 264. In 2021, the Vikings scooped him up at 90th overall. Minnesota wasn’t the only team to think that he was worthy of being a mid-round selection. Does one of those teams still have some belief in him? He had 4 sacks and 8 TFLs as a backup in 2022.

#4 — Trent Sherfield, Wide Receiver
2024 Cap Hit: $1,790,000

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Jaylen Watson (35) breaks up a pass for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Trent Sherfield (16) in the first half of the 2024 AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The early word isn’t overly encouraging for Mr. Sherfield. Alec Lewis of The Athletic talked about Minnesota’s WR3 competition and offered this thought about the veteran receiver: “Trent Sherfield is another option, but he didn’t blow the staff away in OTAs.”

The journeyman has been getting chances with some of the more notable offenses in the NFL, picking up work with the 49ers, Dolphins, and Bills before his stop with the Vikings. Maybe a former team would welcome the veteran back into the fold. He’s 6’1″ and weighs 205. Is this a Jesse Davis situation?

#3 — Andrew Booth Jr., Corner
2024 Cap Hit: $2,265,226

NFL: Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
Aug 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jake Bobo (19) runs the ball in for a touchdown past Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) during the second half at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

A change of scenery may be best for the talented young corner. The position saw Khyree Jackson and Shaq Griffin added without there being any subtractions. Booth is thus in a bit of a precarious spot.

To his credit, Booth played in all seventeen games last season but he seldom picked up work for Mr. Flores. Instead, Booth was a special teams player who snagged 151 defensive snaps. Only 23, Booth likely still has some fans around the NFL after some thought he could go in the 1st back in 2022. Keep in mind that he was drafted when Ed Donatell was calling the shots on defense.

#2 — Lewis Cine, Safety
2024 Cap Hit: $3,134,770

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (6) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The past couple of seasons have gone very poorly for Lewis Cine. Yes, there’s talent. Yes, there’s a desire to tackle and to be physical. But even with those things being true, the opportunity just hasn’t been there and the leg injury can only explain so much.

In 2023, Cine was on the field for 8 snaps and inactive for 10 games. When inactives outnumber snaps, it’s a bad sign. The Vikings have a couple more seasons left on Cine’s deal but would likely welcome the opportunity to ship him out if there was a trade partner. The safety is 24.

#1 — Nick Mullens, Quarterback
2024 Cap Hit: $2,230,000

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) stands behind center during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The problem with Nick Mullens is not that he’s a bad quarterback. Quite the opposite is true; the man can play even if he has a bad interception habit. The issue is that in the post-Kirk Cousins era, the Vikings are totally overhauling their QB spot. There seems to be little room for Mr. Mullens.

Only 29, Mullens has several years of productive football ahead of him and teams would only be signing up for a single season of his contract. He’s affordable, experienced, and unafraid of stepping into a starting lineup. Teammates are going to like him and so will the coaches. Teams should be very interested in adding him.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference 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.