Trade Notes: Vikings, Giants, Dunlap, Jets

The Vikings greenlit this season’s biggest trade thus far by sending Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens for third- and fifth-round picks. While GM Rick Spielman said the team is not waving a white flag on its 2020 season, Albert Breer of notes the Vikings are willing to make more seller’s trades. Teams have contacted them about Kyle Rudolph, their 10th-year tight end who is in the first season of his latest Minnesota extension. The Vikings signed Rudolph to a four-year, $36MM extension but did so shortly after drafting Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. While Breer notes the Vikes are open for business on contract-year players, the soon-to-be 31-year-old Rudolph would make sense as a trade chip as well. He was a trade candidate before he signed his extension. Guard Pat Elflein and franchise-tagged safety Anthony Harris are the Vikings’ highest-profile contract-year players.

Here is the latest from the trade market:

  • While this year’s NFC East could be historically bad, the Giants are 1-6 and in a seller’s position again. They have fielded calls on Kevin Zeitler and Golden Tate, according to Breer. Tate has been a deadline chip before, with the Lions sending him to the Eagles in 2018. Tate’s through-2022 contract, thanks to a PED suspension in 2019, contains no more guaranteed money. Zeitler’s deal runs through 2021. The upper-echelon guard has more than $5MM in salary remaining this season and is due a $12MM base in 2021. The Giants acquired Zeitler via trade in 2019.
  • Washington has lost five straight and is also willing to listen on veterans, per Breer. Two that have come up: edge defenders Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Anderson. The former is Washington’s all-time sack leader; he has three this season for a deep D-line group. But Washington drafted Montez Sweat and Chase Young in the past two first rounds, creating a rare surplus that has moved Kerrigan to a rotational role. Kerrigan and Anderson are in contract years.
  • Carlos Dunlap took issue with the Bengals demoting him, joining Geno Atkins in voicing frustration about playing time. The Bengals were not eager to deal veterans last year, despite their struggles in a 2-14 season, but Breer adds teams view Dunlap as available for trade. Dunlap is Cincinnati’s all-time sack leader but still played a part-time role for the team last week, despite Sam Hubbard‘s IR placement. The Bengals are expected to cut Dunlap in 2021.
  • The Jets dealt nose tackle Steve McLendon to the Buccaneers shortly after their Week 6 game, and in a rare development, McLendon knew he would be a postgame trade piece a day in advance. The Jets interestingly opted not to hold him out of last week’s game. “I got the news on Saturday night that a car would be waiting for me after the game Sunday to come to Tampa,” McLendon said, via Jenna Laine of “I was like, ‘OK.’ Sunday morning, I woke up, I prayed, and I was like, ‘This is one last ride.’ A lot of guys were saying, ‘Man, you’re really gonna play?’ And I was like, ‘Man, this could be the last time I play with y’all in my career.'” The 11th-year veteran will now be tasked with replacing Vita Vea.
  • Traded players must go through similar protocols to free agency additions. They must pass a COVID-19 test for five days straight and pass a sixth on the day they enter the facility. This formed the Ravens‘ timetable on their Ngakoue trade, per Jamison Hensley of (on Twitter), in order for the defensive end to practice Wednesday and play against the Steelers next week.
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13 comments on “Trade Notes: Vikings, Giants, Dunlap, Jets

  1. Gus Leggett

    This is the perfect time to trade Rudolph. They should see if they there are any takers on Riley Reiff as well. If not traded, I am pretty sure that this is the last season in a Vikings jersey for them. Looking to next year and beyond, I can see them getting cut (if not traded) during the off-season…along with Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith and Shamar Stephen. If my math is right, cutting those 5 players during the off-season should open up about $42.5 million in cap space. That gives them the ability to redo Hunter’s contract and still have a lot of cap space. Since Smith would be on the final year of his contract next year, I would just talk to him about an extension and lower his cap hit for next year.

    • mlbnyyfan

      Zeitler should be off limits but Tate among others are available. I would even consider trading Barkley.

      • Michael Chaney

        Even if they’d consider trading Barkley (which they won’t), why bother holding on to Zeitler? He’s an expensive veteran on the wrong side of 30 for a team that probably won’t be good for a few years.

        • Ak185

          Because trading Zeitler imperils your quarterback, which negates whatever slow progress that you’ve made in this ages-long rebuild. Zeitler not only is the better part of compensation from the Beckham deal, he is by far their best lineman. Considering the absolute nightmare the Giants have had in building that line, keeping the one good piece to build around is essential.

  2. For the Giants, I’d trade Tate in a heartbeat. He is talented, but he is invisible for long stretches of games. If they could pry a fourth round pick from someone (I don’t think you could get a third; could definitely be wrong about that), they should do it.

    I would keep Zeitler as they need *someone* to protect Jones and he’s played well.

    • Perksy

      If they are offered something decent like a mid round pick for Zietler they should take it. I would also move Shepard, Engram, and Logan Ryan if they can.

  3. wagner13

    This might be an unpopular opinion, but I would totally trade Harris at this point. He’s likely not returning, as he’ll be too expensive for the cap-restricted Vikings and could potentially bring back a significant haul.

    I never understood the Rudolph signing, especially after they drafted Irv Smith Jr. anyway. It will be difficult to find a taker considering the lucrative contract for a declining pass-catcher.

    I would probably retain Zeitler, if only to protect Jones from getting murdered. Conversely, Tate is expendable and his non-guarenteed contract should help them find a taker. Logan Ryan also makes sense, as New York has no chance to compete and the cornerback is better suited as a hybrid piece for a contender. I would hold on to Engram, as his stock is pretty low at the moment. Last night’s drop did not help matters.

    Kerrigan could fetch a high day three pick from a playoff team looking for a pass-rushing specialist. Washington is loaded in this department, so I would get rid of him if interest piles up.

    Finally, Steve McLendon is the greatest teammate of all time if that report is really true. To risk injury playing for the Jets of all teams shows true guts and sportsmanship

    • andremets

      McLendon was one of the few leaders in the Jets clubhouse and will be missed. That being said, we have zero wins so it’s not like we can get any worse! If the chips fall, maybe we resign him in the Spring.

    • Ak185

      McLendon was great in Pittsburgh and was a decent player in NYJ for the past few years on some uneven teams. Of course the Bucs, who’d sell the souls of their children for a ring it seems, would pick him up. He’s played for Bowles before, let us remember. He’s a good pickup and, as it seems, a great teammate with a sense of honor. Props to him.

    • cka2nd

      wagner13 • 5 days ago

      “I never understood the Rudolph signing, especially after they drafted Irv Smith Jr. anyway. It will be difficult to find a taker considering the lucrative contract for a declining pass-catcher.”

      They re-signed Rudolph because they were instituting Gary Kubiak’s offensive system, which relies a lot on two-tight end sets. This also happens to be the formation that Cousins has had the most success with over the course of his career, in particular when he has two good receiving TE’s, like he had in Washington with Reed and Davis.

      Rudolph has no guaranteed money left on his deal after this year, his dead cap hits are reasonable, and the reports of his decline are grossly overstated. The team’s total targets fell by 150 from 2018 to 2019 with the new system, and while his individual targets also fell, the proportion of TE targets increased while the proportion of WR targets fell, especially after Thielen’s injury. Rudolph is still a clutch catch, and after Thielen was injured, his targets increased and he picked up six TD’s on 30 receptions in 10 games. There might be some teams with the coaches and/or QB’s who could use someone like that for a run at the playoffs.

      This all may be moot, because Rudolph has made it clear he wants to retire a Viking and stay in Minnesota (he’s dug deep roots). If they try sending him to a crappy team (dumb trade for the crappy team), he could retire right then and there.

  4. Ak185

    I said as soon as Chase Young was picked that the Skins would end up no better record-wise and that Kerrigan would be moved for mid to late round pick. Still seems like an excessive pick to me, with the compensation that Washington absolutely would have received for that pick and the absolute certainty of the number of holes they have, to pick a talented D-linemen on an already talented D-line. Chase Young may excel, but Washington could have easily had a good receiver, another quality player, plus two or more very high picks next year for what essentially was a luxury pick.

    Zeitler should stay. No matter what the compensation, you have to view him as tied to your quarterback (and also your just drafted running back in Barkley). Given the hardships the Giants have had in building an O-line, trading the highest quality part of the Beckham deal is working backwards. Tate should go, as many teams are hurting for WRs and despite his RAC talent, Tate drops more than he should and can not always get open. A team could use him in the right role, something the Giants don’t have the luxury of doing.

    The Vikes should trade Rudolph and use the money to try and help extend Harris. Elflein will get a look simply due to injuries along the o-lines around the league, as he is solidly below average as a player. Reiff is in a similar position, though certainly better than Elflein.

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