Recent mumblings suggest that Xavier Rhodes may be running out of time with the Minnesota Vikings. With plenty of young defensive backs on the roster, the Vikings have a safety net in place if they decide to trade their star cornerback. Trading a star defender is a risky move in today’s NFL, but if the Vikings are confident that they will be better because of a move, it’s the right thing to do. Of course, the words from Mike Zimmer could simply be motivation for Rhodes next season. Here are a few trade scenarios for Xavier Rhodes.
— SKOR North (@SKORNorth) March 27, 2019
Ways the Minnesota Vikings Can Engineer a Trade for Xavier Rhodes
New York Jets
The New York Jets have a gaping need at cornerback with a young and talented offense on the rise. They signed Le’Veon Bell in free agency to add to Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson. The defense has pieces in place for success at all levels. Jamal Adams is already one of the best safeties in the NFL, C.J. Mosley signed in free agency, and Leonard Williams still has potential on the defensive line.
However, a trade between the Jets and Vikings would be a miracle. After the two teams battled in free agency in the last two seasons, there isn’t much love between the two organizations. In 2018, the Vikings ripped Kirk Cousins out of the Jets’ hands. Of course, the Jets did fine in the end as they landed Sam Darnold, but it was quite the story at the time. Follow that up with this spring when the Jets reportedly signed Anthony Barr, only to have Barr take back his word and re-sign in Minnesota for less money.
The Jets traded their second-round pick last year in their move up to land Darnold. That said, the Jets are trying to add as many pieces to the roster as possible, so they will not move multiple picks in the same draft. New York made a big splash last season by bringing in Trumaine Johnson to shore up the secondary, but that move backfired. That could make them skeptical to trading assets for another cornerback, but anything can happen. Rhodes is not a cheap acquisition in all likelihood, so what can the Jets offer?
Final Offer: Leonard Williams and a 2019 fifth-round pick for Xavier Rhodes.
Leonard Williams hasn’t quite reached his full potential with the Jets, and the Vikings need to add depth to their defensive line for the future. This move benefits both sides.
The Oakland Raiders have been all over the place since hiring Jon Gruden prior to the 2018 NFL season. He came in and shipped the two biggest stars on the roster for first-round picks, setting Oakland up with a ton of ammo in the 2019 NFL Draft. They own four of the first 35 picks in 2019. They also have a brand new offense to work with. Keeping their fourth overall pick and adding another top-tier talent is the only necessary move for Oakland in April. Packing their 24th and 27th picks to move up or grabbing a veteran at a position of need are options as well.
Oakland addressed the secondary in free agency, adding safety Lamarcus Joyner to pair with Karl Joseph. However, they have a glaring hole at cornerback. They could fill that void in the draft, or they could look elsewhere via trade. Gareon Conley is a young guy with a ton of talent and potential, and adding a veteran such as Rhodes would be huge for his development.
Final Offer: 27th overall pick for Xavier Rhodes and a 2019 fourth-round pick overall.
San Francisco 49ers
Here’s a fun one. The San Francisco 49ers have an interesting roster and a high draft pick. The signed Tevin Coleman in free agency to add to their dynamic backfield. They have a young defensive line and their linebacking core received a boost with the addition of Kwon Alexander in the off-season. The 49ers also brought in Jason Verrett in free agency to help in the secondary, but injuries have plagued his career.
With Richard Sherman getting older, the 49ers need a veteran presence in the locker room. However, San Francisco doesn’t have a ton to offer that will interest the Vikings. Minnesota will want a plentiful return for its star, and San Francisco will not be willing to part with a high draft pick. But they do have something the Vikings may want: a backup running back. Matt Breida will be lost in the shuffle of good running backs and should be available.
Final Offer: Matt Breida and the 67th overall pick for Xavier Rhodes.
This may seem low, but Breida is a great complementary back that can spell Dalvin Cook to ease the load.
At the end of the day, the Vikings have to think long and hard about trading a franchise cornerstone. Rhodes is a leader on a brilliant defense with the ability to mentor the youth on the roster. The only way they trade a player of his caliber is if they net a wealthy return.
There are a handful of teams with a need at cornerback, and this draft class isn’t exactly rich in talent at the position. Xavier Rhodes’ name has been floating around trade rumors lately, sparking questions prior to the draft.