Two Minnesota Vikings players have big hits for the 2022 budget — Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter.
Cousins is a polarizing athlete, so the fodder for getting rid of him is all over the internet. Here are some teams the cousins could join if the Vikings trade their QB1. His $45 million cap is the obvious starting point for a team looking to sort out their underwater cap situation.
Trading Cousins would save $35 million in cap dollars for the 2022 season. New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah may or may not trade cousins. We will see. When Minnesota deployed its new head coach a week ago, it certainly didn’t look like Kevin O’Connell favored a Cousins trade.
Hunter is the other question mark. His 2022 cap is $26 million, a high figure for a player who has missed 79% of all football games over the past two seasons. A healthy hunter is an incredibly productive player, setting the tone for a generally good Vikings defense. Without Hunter, Minnesota’s defense stinks, guaranteed to crumble in the final two minutes of 2n/a Quarter and 4and Trimester. It’s like a clock.
So, like Cousins, trading the dear player elsewhere – Hunter, in this case – is on the docket for discussion. Should the Vikings invest megabucks in an EDGE rusher that plays 21% of the time? Probably not. However, Hunter’s injury story only started in 2020. Before that, he was durable.
Fans tend to believe Hunter would get a 1st-Round draw choice inside a trade. The wholesome version of the LSU alumnus probably would be. Yet, by Focus on professional football1st-Round stuff” may overstate the value.
In an article by Brad Spielberger of Focus on professional football detailing potential off-season trades, Hunter was sent to the Buffalo Bills – as was Stefon Diggs – for a sum significantly less than 1st-Round draw capital.
According to Spielberger, Buffalo would send a 2n/a-Rounder and 4and-Rounder in Minnesota for the 27-year-old fighter. This trade package certainly isn’t insulting, but it’s not the “1st round and change” that some Vikings fans think Hunter is worth. Spielberger wrote of the hypothetical swap:
“Hunter will still be just 27 in Week 1 of 2022 and is a force multiplier for any defense. The Bills used their 2021 first- and second-round picks on edge defensemen Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham , but all three players can also kick inside and field opposing guards.Hunter could be the final piece that puts the Bills’ roster over the edge.Finally, a reunion with the former Boston wide receiver Vikings Stefon Diggs could help ease Hunter’s transition to a new franchise, however, it may be too difficult for Adofo-Mensah to “sell low” on an elite pass-rusher.
Brad Spielberg | Focus on professional football
It’s unclear who is more likely to be traded, Cousins or Hunter. Cousins are durable. Hunter has been the antithesis of durable lately. For a team in need of QBs, Cousins probably commands a 1st-Rounder simply because his position is considered “more important” than the defensive line.
But if Hunter is the one traded, it’s do not a no-brainer for its commercial value to send a 1st-Round pick in exchange to the Vikings. The conversation needs to be adjusted. To date, Hunter’s trading is viewed through a hooking lens of a 1st-Choice of round draft – sometimes in the top 10 places.
Hunter is a fantasy football player who will spend 2022 trying to prove his injuries were outliers. If he leaves the Vikings, a 1st-Rounder is not the bottom shelf for its commercial value. Adjust your expectations.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).