Trade Notes: Harris, Texans, Geno, Browns

After trading Yannick Ngakoue, the Vikings appear to be reopening the door to dealing their franchise player. Anthony Harris is again available, per Albert Breer of The Vikings discussed at least one tag-and-trade deal involving the 2019 breakout player-turned-tag recipient this offseason but moved forward with Harris as a starter for the third season. The price was believed to be a Day 2 pick at that point. Harris has more than half of his $11.4MM tag salary due. Harris joins safety mate Harrison Smith, tight end Kyle Rudolph and left tackle Riley Reiff as available Viking veterans.

Here is more from the trade market, with five days to go until the deadline:

  • We have heard trade rumors surrounding the bulk of the Texans‘ receiving corps. The Packers, among others, inquired about Will Fuller; Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks have also come up in talks. The Texans are prepared to part with any of their wideouts — for the right offer, of course. Every Texan except Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Laremy Tunsil and right tackle Tytus Howard is available, Breer adds. Fuller and Kenny Stills are on expiring contracts; Cobb is signed through 2022; Cooks through ’23.
  • NFL INT leader Xavien Howard has surfaced as a name to watch ahead of the deadline. While the Dolphins have fielded calls on the fifth-year cornerback, they have not received a firm offer, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. The Dolphins also appear dead-set against dealing Howard, with Jackson adding that it would likely take multiple first-round picks (an unrealistic ask) for Miami to consider a deal. Howard is in the first season of a five-year, $75MM contract.
  • The Bengals traded all-time sack leader Carlos Dunlap to the Seahawks, and teams are wondering if the franchise’s No. 2 all-time sacker (Geno Atkins) is available. Teams have contacted the Bengals on the 11th-year defensive tackle but have been told he is not being traded, Breer notes. Atkins is signed through 2022, and although he has voiced frustration about his role, the Bengals will hang onto the perennial Pro Bowler.
  • In the thick of the AFC playoff race at 5-2, the Browns may still be dangling Olivier Vernon. Although the veteran defensive end came off Cleveland’s trade block this summer, the Browns shopped him for a while. They may be doing so again, with Breer indicating the 30-year-old edge rusher is being viewed as available. However, the Browns would move to replace the veteran opposite Myles Garrett. They were in on the first Nkagoue sweepstakes in August but lost out to the Vikings. In the final year of his contract, Vernon does not have a sack this season.
  • Entering their Week 8 game, the Panthers may be straddling the buyer-seller line at 3-4. However, they are still in a rebuilding phase in Matt Rhule‘s first season. Any buyer’s deal Carolina makes would be for a player controllable beyond this season rather than a rental who could help the team secure a wild-card spot, Joe Person of The Athletic writes (subscription required).
  • Prior to signing Mohamed Sanu as injury insurance this year, the 49ers finished second to the Patriots for Sanu at last year’s deadline. The 49ers offered the Falcons a third-round pick for Sanu, Breer notes, but the Pats gave up a second-round pick. San Francisco’s subsequent Emmanuel Sanders addition ended up being more impactful, and Sanu is currently training for his next opportunity.
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11 comments on “Trade Notes: Harris, Texans, Geno, Browns

    • starducketmoon

      By actual stats Dunlap is number one and Atkins is second. Longetivity matters above all else in this. They’ve both had successful careers under Lewis being disruptive on the defensive line. Dunlap has been best because of his long arms and just batting down passes while being blocked. I say this as a Bengals fan. He deserves a playoff run like Whitworth got. But it’s time for Taylor to give Hubbard and Lawson the opportunities. We’re a bit away. I see where we can go forward. Dunlap and Atkins aren’t part of our future. Doesn’t take away all they worked for in the past.

    • joeshmoe11

      Eddie Edwards has 83.5 sacks but only 47.5 came after sacks became an official stat so technically Dunlap has more .

    • Ak185

      I know that this is a joke, but it doesn’t make sense to me to hold on to Cousins if the Vikes are trending towards a rebuild. For as much criticism as Cousins gets, he is still a competent starter-but with the time needed to rebuild, his contract will weigh on the Vikings’ cap.

      • cka2nd

        They probably won’t be able to trade Cousins until he can string together some good games, so not until the off-season, then. If he can get back to even the level of his 2017 play, some team could trade for him.

        • Ak185

          It’d be easy to buy low right now, I think. The Vikings must be hoping yo dump some cap so they can give Cousins a decent line to help alleviate his current struggles. Their pass blocking has been a problem, even in the face of their capable run blocking.

          • cka2nd

            I don’t think the cap savings is their primary goal right now, since they can achieve those during the off-season. If they trade Reiff, Rudolph, Harris, Smith, et al, it’s to stock up on draft picks, not free up cap space when its questionable that they could acquire a guard right now who would make a difference inside. Mind, if such a guard were available, I might make that trade myself , but I think it’s picks they’re hunting for right now, not cap space.

            • Ak185

              Oh, I agree, but by dealing them now the Vikes have a shot to recoup some draft stock in addition to the cap savings. Some of these guys are likely gone no matter what this offseason. It’s a combination of both concerns. Reiff’s cap hit is likely what’s limiting his market in terms of trades, for instance, considering his valuable experience weighed down by average play.

              I expect both offensive and defensive lines to be foci in the offseason, but by trying to get traded done now the Vikes can shed cap while adding picks. Some of these cap moves are happening anyway, especially considering the mostly disappointing start to the season so far. They may as well get some value back. Right now, that money can’t be used to retain the positive parts of the team, namely Anthony Harris, or sign possible help on the line or front seven. Picks will help, but if a good free agent is available the Vikes may as well try to free up space for him. Anthony Harris, for instance, may end up leaving if the contract talks stall again. With rookies/second year players on slate to start at corner next season, I doubt Zimmer wants to train a new safety as well. The picks will be helpful, of course, and are a focus, but the cap space is too, I think.

              • cka2nd

                Zimmer was quite willing to let Harris walk this past off-season, whether because he doesn’t want to spend the money on the position or because Harris has never been his ideal of a safety – too thin, not tall enough – I don’t know. It will also be interesting to see if the team decides Cleveland’s emergence on the OL yesterday, and Cook’s good health, gives them a shot at the playoffs they didn’t think they had a couple of weeks ago.

  1. Wade Herbers

    Vikings need a fire sale. Gain draft picks , reduce payroll and just possible for once address the Offensive line issues!!!!!!!!!! Sign a stud tackle and draft a couple more !!! Rudolph / Rieff–no one wants though / Harris / Irv Smith all can go.

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