Let’s Reid between the lines…
BREAKING NEWS: Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has been traded to the Baltimore Ravens. The Vikings netted a 2021 third round pick and a 2022 fifth-rounder in the deal.
The move is a surprise to many, as Minnesota only recently signed the young edge-rusher. The Vikings sent a second rounder to Jacksonville back in September to acquire his services.
Many fans are in uproar on social media, but they shouldn’t be. Ngakoue was on an expiring contract. Realistically, the team may have struggled to deal him a new contract next year, especially after he has performed well in Purple.
Right now, this trade also clears $12,000,000 from the books – a nice chunk of change in the football world. It adds a lot of fuel to the Vikings quarterback fire. Analysts have speculated on how Minnesota could cut ties with Kirk Cousins, or even bench him in favor of another quarterback. There is not a “better option” currently on the Vikings bench, so you wonder if this money could go towards a new arm.
Cap aside, there is no clear winner in this trade. I might give the Vikings the edge, as they basically got two good picks for the one great pick that they lost (in getting Ngakoue from Jacksonville).
Rick Spielman may also be “embracing the tank.” With a 1-5 record, the Vikings have only a 2% chance of making the playoffs. It’s common for tanking teams to start shedding players in exchange for future draft picks. Considering the team didn’t get any actual players in return, this is suspect.
The last thing that comes to mind with this trade relates to the state of the team, in a good way. Yannick was brought on because of the mysterious injury to Danielle Hunter, and uncertainty about Ifeadi Odenigbo. The trade could indicate confidence in Odenigbo, who has 2.5 sacks this year. Better yet, it could point to a near-future return from Hunter.
All in all, this is a shocking trade by Spielman. Keep your eyes peeled for more big moves in the coming days.