Seems like a bit of a surprising prospect that the Vikings would consider trading their top corner. But with a premium defense and a struggling offensive line, losing one of their top corners won’t hurt the Vikings as much as going two years with a bad line. The idea is a stark contrast to the struggles the Buccaneers have plaguing them right now. Coming off ESPN’s Joseph Nocco’s bold predictions of all 32 teams, cites Courtney Cronin:
“Mike Zimmer would likely fight tooth and nail against losing one of his star defensive players. But Minnesota’s best chance at bolstering its weakest link — the offensive line — might come from cutting into an area where the Vikings are OK depthwise and have valuable trade leverage. Coming off the most difficult season of his career, Rhodes will turn 29 ahead of the 2019 campaign and account for $13.4 million against the salary cap. Minnesota’s crop of cornerback talent is in a good spot with Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, Mike Hughes (who is coming off an ACL injury) and the early rise of undrafted free agent Holton Hill. Trading Rhodes now, knowing they’re in a good spot with the rest of their corners, could provide the Vikings with an option to garner more talent for the O-line.“
Rhodes would be the biggest carrot on a stick for the Vikings, but any of their corners would be an attractive prospect. If I were Jason Licht, I’d pick up the phone quickly. Having the 5th overall draft pick puts us in a good position to trade for players and picks. Before you ask: no. I’m not saying to offer a first rounder for Rhodes. But I would offer a 2nd and a player. Depth on the offensive line is something we have. While they’re not stars at any stretch, they are overall solid, and Demar Dotson and Caleb Benenoch are the most expendable and more namely guys.
So my scenario goes like this:
Bucs give: 7th pick of the 2nd round and Demar Dotson.
Vikings give: Xavier Rhodes and their 6th round pick
Both teams swap: 4th round Bucs would select 18th and Vikings would move up to 5th.
My scenario allows both teams to fill spots of depth in lacking areas while addressing huge areas of need outright before the draft begins. Jason Licht is also a huge fan of trading down for his first round, so no doubt there will be more trades on draft day. A trade for Rhodes if available would certainly answer a lot of questions in the Buccaneer secondary.