NJ.com’s Mike Kaye outlines a potential trade, with the Eagles packaging a fifth-round pick with WR Alshon Jeffery to the Packers for a sixth-round pick and a conditional 2022 seventh. Green Bay gets some potential receiving help while the Eagles finally dump Jeffery.
Packers HC Matt LaFleur didn’t rule out Green Bay making a move at the trade deadline: “If the right opportunity presents itself, I’m sure Gutey will be all over it, and he’ll make that decision.” (Ryan Wood)
Packers WR Allen Lazard returned to practice and started his clock to come off injured reserve. LaFleur thinks he’ll be back soon: “Hopefully, he’ll play sooner than later.” (Tom Silverstein)
ESPN’s Courtney Cronin writes that the Vikings’ top priority should be trading LT Riley Reiff to a team that needs offensive line help given Reiff is unlikely to be on the team next year, has a very tradable salary and could free up a chance for second-round OL Ezra Cleveland to start developing at left tackle.
Cronin adds the Vikings could try to revive trade talks with the Browns for S Anthony Harris, who was franchise-tagged this year and is also questionable to be back in 2021. However, the move would leave Minnesota with just two safeties on the active roster.
If the Vikings can find a team willing to take TE Kyle Rudolph‘s salary, Cronin thinks they should pull the trigger given his declining role in the offense. The same is true for G Pat Elflein, though mostly because Elflein has not been good and won’t be back in 2021.
Cronin believes if the Vikings intend to trade WR Adam Thielen, it might make more sense to do it this offseason to not completely deprive the team of weapons this year. Minnesota could pick up possibly a second or third-round pick and $8.1 million of cap space in 2021.
Vikings S Harrison Smith is also a likely restructure/pay cut candidate given his $10.25 million salary in 2021 that has no guaranteed cash for the 32-year-old veteran.
The Vikings will also have to address the contracts of LB Anthony Barr and DE Danielle Hunter. Barr is set to have huge cap hits in 2021-2023 and Minnesota likely needs to restructure those, while Hunter is underpaid compared to other top pass rushers and will be seeking a raise despite three years remaining on his deal and coming off of injury in 2020.
Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said Hunter had successful surgery on the herniated disc in his neck. (Chris Tomasson)
Zimmer said the injury appears to have just been a freak occurrence: “It was hardly anything, When we looked back at the tape [of Hunter getting hurt], I don’t know whatever it was, a week later, it could have happened to anybody at any point.” (Ben Goessling)
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook feels optimistic about returning this week from his groin injury: “I feel good. I’m going to go out here and practice (today) and we’re going to go from there. But I feel good, though.” (Tomasson)