The Broncos and Vikings agreed on a trade Saturday, one that will send Stephen Weatherly to Denver. The Vikings are trading the veteran edge defender to the Broncos in a deal that will see the teams swap seventh-round picks, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
Weatherly and a 2023 seventh-rounder will go to Denver, which is sending a 2022 seventh to Minnesota. This will reunite Weatherly with new Broncos GM George Paton, who was with the Vikings when they drafted the sixth-year vet back in 2016. Weatherly sought a trade, according to Pelissero (on Twitter), and the Vikings obliged for low-level compensation.
This move will give the Broncos some much-needed depth. Denver finished its Thursday game without all four of its starting linebackers. Von Miller avoided serious injury, but the team is still without Bradley Chubb for an extended stretch. Malik Reed and seventh-round rookie Jonathon Cooper served as the Broncos’ primary edge rushers in Thursday’s 17-14 loss to the Browns.
Weatherly, 27, has played less than 20% of the Vikings’ defensive snaps in each of their past four games. He has served as a key special-teamer for the Vikings and started nine games for the Panthers in 2020. The Broncos are decimated at linebacker, having lost both starters and special-teamers, so Weatherly will likely be plugged in on special teams soon with his new squad.
The Panthers signed Weatherly to a two-year, $12.5MM deal in March 2020 but cut bait after one season. The Vikings brought him back this year. Less than $1MM remains on Weatherly’s contract, which runs through season’s end. The Broncos are not exactly up against the cap, however, holding more than $15MM in space.
To clear a roster spot, the Broncos moved linebacker Micah Kiser to IR. The former Rams ILB starter suffered a groin injury during the Broncos’ Thursday tilt. Vic Fangio said the Broncos are looking for help at this position as well.
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