Analyzing ESPN’s Vikings trade ideas involving Danielle Hunter, Jordan Hicks

Analyzing ESPN’s Vikings trade ideas involving Danielle Hunter, Jordan Hicks

evaluating Jordan Hicks and Danielle Hunter trade proposals from ESPN for the Vikings.

Regarding Minnesota, Bill Barnwell proposed two fictitious deals.
Let’s examine them now.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell came up with some very intriguing hypothetical trades in a recent article, as he does every year.
In two of them, the Vikings are vendors.
Alright, let’s examine.

  1. Danielle Hunter is traded by Vikings within the division.

Danielle Hunter, a 2024 fifth-round pick, is acquired by the Lions.

James Houston (EDGE) in the second round and a conditional third-round pick in 2025 are acquired by the Vikings.

Barnwell clarified:.

At 4-1 and comfortably ahead of the NFC North, and only one game behind the 49ers and Eagles atop the conference, the Lions ought to go all out.
Although no other Lions defender has more than two sacks, Aidan Hutchinson is playing like a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
After fracturing his right ankle in Week 2, Houston—who, ironically, had eight sacks as a rookie last season—is out indefinitely.
After rupturing his Achilles tendon a few years prior, Romeo Okwara, an experienced player, has not been the same. Charles Harris is a good player, but Detroit might hope to add another star to play on the edge opposite Hutchinson.

By this deadline, Hunter is most likely the best player who has a realistic chance of getting moved.
Through five games this season, the 28-year-old standout has racked up six sacks and a league-high nine tackles for loss.
After a hold-out this summer, he signed a one-year, $17 million contract, but he is expected to depart the Vikings in the offseason as free agency approaches and they have consistently refused to offer him a new contract.

Because other teams are aware of this, even with Hunter’s proven track record, projected output in 2023, and age, the Vikings are unlikely to acquire a first-round pick for a player who has three months left on his contract.
In the event that the acquiring team lost him, they would be able to recover a potential compensatory pick for him in free agency; however, if the team made the necessary expenditures on new free agents, that pick would be forfeited.

The Vikings would save $8.3 million by trading Hunter for the balance of 2023.
They would also get a second-round pick in the April draft and Houston, who appears to be a promising pass rush prospect and has two more years of team control due to restricted free agency.
In the event that Hunter re-signs with the Lions during his free agency, they would also receive a third-round pick in 2025.

While most teams wouldn’t consider moving a star player within their own division, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, general manager of Minnesota, appears to enjoy closing deals in the NFC North.
The wide receiver Jameson Williams was selected by the Lions in the 2022 draft after they traded up with their opponents to select tight end T.
A. J.
Last fall, the Vikings traded Hockenson for draft picks. A starter for the then-difficult Detroit team was going to the top-seeded Vikings.
These roles have now been switched.

My interpretation is:.

It’s not crazy to suggest this, in my opinion. Hunter is the only player who could genuinely return a respectable return if the Vikings decide to make a major splash by dealing a player other than Kirk Cousins.
Hunting for a guaranteed return that is not taken into account by the compensatory pick formula makes sense if Adofo-Mensah decides to sell. Adofo-Mensah has demonstrated a willingness to make deals within the division, it is also true.

However, convincing fans to buy this would be difficult.
For the Vikings to trade a premier pass-rusher like Hunter to the top team in the division is a different matter entirely than the Lions sending Hockenson to the Vikings.
Hunter is a top-tier edge rusher, and while I think the return here (a second, a conditional third, and a young player who had eight sacks in his rookie season) is respectable enough, are we really certain the Vikings couldn’t get a similar deal from a team outside the NFC North?

  1. Jordan Hicks is sent to Buffalo by the Vikings.

Jordan Hicks, LB, is acquired by the Bills.

2024 fifth-round pick goes to the Vikings.

The reason provided by Barnwell:.

The Bills could be doomed if they lose linebacker Matt Milano and cornerback Tre’Davious White to season-ending injuries in back-to-back games.
It is unlikely that they can find suitable replacements among the players available at this trade deadline.
Buffalo will have to hope that 2022 first-round pick Kaiir Elam can move quickly from healthy scratch to a reliable starter unless the Broncos are willing to trade Pat Surtain and the Bills are willing to send the multiple first-round picks required to complete that deal.

Milano’s value is even greater, considering that the Bills had to start over at linebacker next to him after losing Tremaine Edmunds to free agency.
The Bills are in desperate need of a veteran in the middle of the field, but Terrel Bernard has cemented himself in that position.
Dorian Williams, a third-round rookie, may attempt to fill Milano’s shoes. A resigned from Buffalo. A. J.
Although Klein was active earlier this week, the 32-year-old was not involved in football before moving back to western New York, so it’s unlikely that he will be a regular starter for the duration of the season.

Hicks, 31, has started for the Eagles, Cardinals, and Vikings while moving around the league, giving him exposure to a variety of systems.
Though he can’t match Milano in coverage, he is a reliable tackler and an effective run defender—qualities the Bills will need as they approach their AFC East opponents.
Hicks has a season-long prorated salary of roughly $2.5 million, but Buffalo would make sense to acquire him considering the lack of other options.

In my opinion:.

Assuming that the Vikings enter seller mode prior to the deadline, I have no problems with this.
After five weeks, Hicks’ PFF grade of sixth among 52 off-ball linebackers (minimum 200 snaps) indicates that he is having a fantastic season.
He is still an aging player whose contract is about to expire.
To salvage a losing season, the Vikings should definitely acquire a fifth for him.
I’m not sure Hicks’ performance in prior seasons warrants the possibility of a fourth, but you’d sure like to land one.

The Vikings could see what they have in Brian Asamoah II and Ivan Pace Jr. by trading for Hicks. for the duration of the season.
If the team decides not to bring Hicks back in the spring, this is the kind of move that makes perfect sense.


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