The 5-1 Vikings have started the season hot and after an early Bye Week, could look to add even more talent. There are some very interesting names that could be heading to a new team before the deadline, several of whom have been linked to the Vikings. These rumors are always fun to think about, but whom of these players could realistically be acquired before next Tuesday?
Here are the potential targets for the Vikings:
WR, Brandin Cooks, Texans
WR, Chase Claypool, Steelers
TE, Mike Gesicks, Dolphins
EDGE, Bradley Chubb, Broncos
CB, Will Jackson III, Commanders
CB, Greedy Williams, Browns
These players fall into 3 categories from which it makes sense to discuss them: Pass-catchers, Edge Rusher, Cornerbacks.
Brandin Cooks has easily the best resume of the bunch so I’ll start with him. Cooks is used to adjusting on the fly as this would be his fourth time being traded in nine seasons despite consistent, high-level production. The Saints draftee put up over 1,000 yards in six of those nine seasons in all kinds of different situations. A veteran deep-threat with the ability to separate could really open up the offense.
Justin Jefferson has been bracket-covered on many snaps this season and at times has been taken out of games. When that happens, the offense relies on other weapons to separate and take advantage of less attention and that has been a shortcoming of the offense. Brandin Cooks solves this problem right away.
This would take some maneuvering and would incur some dead cap for Houston so the Vikings may need to give up some real draft capital. Cooks went for a 2022 2nd and a 2022 4th round pick when Houston acquired him from the Rams in 2020. Those assets might be worth the additional value of keeping him out of Green Bay, which has been another rumored suitor.
Gesicki and Claypool would both be more long-term plays. It’s unlikely that Minnesota would give up much in the form of assets in a deal for either player without the intention of extending them. Gesicki is playing on the franchise tag after negotiations with the Miami stalled in the offseason. The Miami “Tight End” is eyeing Wide-Receiver money in his next contract as he rarely lines up in-line. A below average blocker to boot, Gesicki is better suited playing in a more receiver-like role so he has a point.
I don’t think Gesicki would be a wise play for Minnesota here.
Claypool may be a bit more conducive to the vision of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the front office. Three years younger than Mike Gesicki and five years younger than Brandin Cooks, with one more year left on his rookie deal. The 6’4″ wideout is likely to seek something like the Mike Williams 3yr/$60million deal signed this offseason as he presents similar advantages, but I’m not sure he’s shown enough to garner it. A big money extension to Claypool following a trade would be a poor and excessive allocation of resources in my opinion.
This one would be the rich getting richer and I’m here for it. Chubb has connections to Ed Donatell of course, spending the past three years with Donatell as his Defensive Coordinator in Denver. A long-term contingency plan at edge would be a prudent investment for the Vikings. Chubb is familiar with the system and a more natural flat defender and stand-up rusher than any edge on the roster.
Just today, we saw Robert Quinn acquired by Philadelphia to bolster an already potent pass rush and this move could follow suit. A strong rotation on the defensive line can pay serious dividends late in seasons and into the playoffs. Chubb is playing this year on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal and will need an immediate extension as well. This is doable, but Kwesi and co. would need to get creative with restructures, void years and other salary cap hocus pocus.
Similarly to Chubb, I mostly see Greedy Williams as a potential target because of the connection to Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in Cleveland. Williams has underperformed this season but has terrific physical tools and could be a nice addition to young core of defensive backs to mold while veterans are still in place to take most of the snaps. Measuring in at 6’2″ 185 pounds, he could be worth a swing if the asking price is no more than a day three pick.
William Jackson III makes a bit more sense as a win-now move, despite his disappointing performance so far this season. Jackson III is another player for whom the Vikings would need to create some cap space, so they shouldn’t be eager to offer much draft capital thereafter. I’d expect a fifth round pick if the Vikings do land him and I think he could earn some reps.
My favorite fit of the bunch is without a doubt Bradley Chubb, in the short and long-term. What do you think? Will the Vikings make any moves? If and when they do, we’ll have you covered at thedailyskol.com!