Could the Minnesota Vikings really be considering trading their star receiver? Are the Baltimore Ravens really the team that could make that trade happen?
The week after the Super Bowl is the time that football fans everywhere reflect on the past season, have a little cry because football is done for another seven months, and the media and bloggers everywhere spread rumors and give opinions about potential trades, retirements, and player movement through free agency.
Tom Brady, Greg Olsen, and Phillip Rivers have monopolized a lot of the headlines, but with the chatter around Minnesota potentially being open to trading one of the top receivers in the league, I expect the Stefon Diggs rumors to keep heating up as we get closer to free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft.
Adam Patrick of The Viking Age on Fansided, seems to be one of those bloggers who believes the Vikings are not only open to trading Diggs, but that it actually makes sense for the team to trade Diggs.
“While it might be hard for some to understand why Minnesota would move such a talented receiver like Diggs, there are a number of reasons why it would make sense. – Dealing the 26-year-old would not only free up some much-needed salary cap space for the Vikings, but it would likely result in a return that would include at least one early-round draft pick. With Minnesota not expected to have a ton of money to spend this offseason, draft selections are even more valuable in their efforts to improve their roster for 2020.”
Even with Diggs on the roster last season the Vikings were only able to go 10-6 on the season. Though they did secure a playoff spot, and scored an overtime victory against the New Orleans Saints during the Wildcard round, the San Francisco 49ers were able to make quick work of Minnesota in the Divisional Round.
According to overthecap.com the Vikings have just over $11 million is remaining cap space heading into free agency, and trading Diggs would save Minnesota about $11 million this season that they could use somewhere else. The Vikings would still be on the hook for another $9 million the next two seasons, but it may be worth eating that money and moving on from Diggs, because with the little salary they have left to spend, there won’t be much left to improve the team next season.
So the question then becomes, who has the money available, and the capital to trade for Diggs? I would have to assume for a player of Stefon Diggs status, the Vikings would want him out of the NFC. According to Brent Sobleski of the Bleacher Report, the Baltimore Ravens would be a perfect landing spot for Diggs, and the perfect trade partner for the Vikings.
From Brent Sobleski:
“The Baltimore Ravens have never been afraid to make a splash move.
A year ago, the organization signed safety Earl Thomas III. Two years ago, the front office traded up for quarterback Lamar Jackson. And so on and so forth.
Baltimore is quite aggressive when it wants to get something done. The next step is a continuance of building around Jackson. The Ravens developed the greatest ground game of all time last season. Their wide receiver corps needs a bit more work, though.
Whatever the case, the Vikings have a premium trade chip if general manager Rick Spielman decides to pull the trigger. Diggs is 26 and coming off of consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns. Minnesota does need to clear significant salary-cap space. Maybe the Maryland native would finally be happy returning home to play for the Ravens.”
Potential trade: The Ravens acquire Diggs from the Vikings for a first-round draft pick.”
There were rumblings around the trade deadline last season that Diggs wasn’t happy in Minnesota, and that he wanted to be traded out. Both the Vikings and Diggs have denied those rumors, but where there’s smoke, there is usually fire.
The Ravens adding Diggs would really boost and already electric offense, and besides Marquise Brown, Lamar Jackson would have a true playmaker with the potential of being explosive. The Ravens, who were the best offense in the NFL last season, showed a vulnerability in the Divisional Round of the playoffs and the Tennessee Titans were able to shut down the run attack. Forcing the game onto Jackson’s arm proved that the Ravens still had some holes they needed to patch in the passing game.
Like everything else in the NFL right now, it’s all speculation, and it’s all just guess work. The trade makes sense in principle, but that’s a trade if I’m the GM of the Vikings, I would feel very uneasy pulling the trigger.