We spoke with an editor who covers the Minnesota Vikings to ask about the team’s secondary depth and whether the Chiefs could pry a cornerback loose.
Throughout most of this offseason, fans and analysts have been concerned about the current state of things at cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs. A lack of depth, high-ceiling talent, and long-term commitments have all sounded the alarm for the present and future of the position, yet the Chiefs haven’t done much to alleviate concerns—at least not yet.
The Chiefs did sign Bashaud Breeland to start on the outside, but that was only a one-year deal, so it feels like a stop-gap measure at this point. The Chiefs also drafted Rashad Fenton, but that wasn’t until the sixth round and he’s a developmental talent for now. Kendall Fuller is a free agent in 2020.
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It’s no surprise that the Chiefs have been linked with multiple players as potential trade targets. Patrick Peterson alerts have been sounded on multiple occasions this offseason, but the Minnesota Vikings and their impressive collection of corners have also been a common subject in Chiefs Kingdom. Names like Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes have been floated as potential trade candidates to help fill a role in 2019 (and beyond in Rhodes’ case) for the Chiefs, but the Vikings have yet to move any player.
On the surface, it looks as if the Vikes are hoarding riches at this point. They have Waynes and Rhodes as starters alongside last year’s first round pick Mike Hughes, former second round pick Mackensie Alexander, Holton Hill, and this year’s rookie pick of Kris Boyd.
So why are the Vikings holding on to everyone to this point? Would they ever set one of them free in the right deal? We reached out to Christopher Gates, editor of the Daily Norseman, for some perspective into Minnesota’s roster.
The Vikings seem about as rich as any team at cornerback. What are the chances they carry this full load into the regular season?
I think they almost have to carry all their corners. As things stand right now, it sounds like Mike Hughes, the first round pick from last year, might not be ready for the start of the regular season after tearing his ACL in October. In addition, Holton Hill, who played pretty well in limited action towards the end of 2018, is going to be out for the first four games for violating the league’s rule against performance enhancing drugs.
Once you subtract those two guys, things get a little thin behind the impressive trio of Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander. To be honest, without those two, I’m not sure who the #4 guy is at this point. It could be Kris Boyd, Hill’s friend from the University of Texas, who fell to the Vikings in the seventh round, and they may use Jayron Kearse more frequently in their sub packages as well.
If the team were willing to deal a corner, who would be most likely to go free?
It would probably end up being Waynes. He had trade rumors circulating as far back as the Scouting Combine, and he’s in the fifth-year option season of his rookie contract. I think the Vikings would like to keep him around, but they’re going to have some cap issues going forward, and if he continues along the development curve he’s already established, he could easily get to be too expensive for the Vikings to retain.
What sort of return would you expect on a trade for the aforementioned player?
I firmly believe that if Waynes were to hit free agency after the 2019 season, he would sign a big enough deal to net the Vikings a third-round Compensatory pick. Having said that, I would think that would be the lowest level of compensation that the Vikings would accept for him. If nobody is willing to offer that much, they could just as well keep him for the season and get that third-round choice in return rather than settling for less.
Thanks to Christopher Gater for answering our questions!