5 players the Minnesota Vikings shouldn’t trade in 2020

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Harrison Smith
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Harrison Smith /
4 of 6
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Shamar Stephen
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Shamar Stephen /

Shamar Stephen – DT

With Linval Joseph recently released from his deal by the Vikings to free up some significant cap space, Shamar Stephen has a chance to make a run at the top defensive tackle spot in 2020.

The former seventh-round selection out of Connecticut represents a cheap option for Minnesota, with the player scheduled to make a little over $5 million next season.

The Vikings could free up around $2.3 million by cutting Stephen this year, but seems unlikely given the need for reinforcements on their defensive interior. Stephen performed well on the whole during his first season back in Minnesota after a year away with the Seattle Seahawks.

He was on the field for 53 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in 2019. Stephen secured 21 combined tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble during the campaign.

The 29-year-old can take an even greater leap in Joseph’s absence next season. However, this all depends on how much attention the Vikings place on the position in free agency or the NFL Draft.

A high-end draft selection at defensive tackle is not out of the realm of possibility. Minnesota also just reportedly signed free-agent defensive tackle Michael Pierce on Wednesday and he should be in the mix as well.

Providing there is not too much pressure put on Stephen, then he does have some value for the Vikings. Another prominent talent around him should be what he needs to get the best out of his ability going forward.