Could Cincinnati Bengals receiver John Ross land with the Minnesota Vikings?
Back in March, the Minnesota Vikings made a gigantic decision to trade Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills. Diggs had developed into one of the NFL’s best receivers during his five years with the Vikings, but the deteriorating relationship between the pass-catcher and Minnesota reached a point where a change needed to be made.
In exchange for Diggs, the Vikings received the Bills’ first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. That selection was then used by Minnesota to add former LSU receiver Justin Jefferson to the roster and the rookie pass-catcher has been playing outstanding so far this season.
With Jefferson and Adam Thielen, the Vikings still have one of the best receiving duos in the league despite the departure of Diggs. But should Minnesota look to add another weapon for their passing attack before this year’s trade deadline?
Should the Minnesota Vikings trade for John Ross?
On Tuesday, it was revealed that Cincinnati Bengals receiver John Ross has reportedly requested a trade according to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo. Ross was selected with the No. 9 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Bengals, but his time in Cincinnati hasn’t gone very well.
Ross has only appeared in 50 percent of the Bengals games since 2017 and he’s never finished a season with more than 28 catches or 510 receiving yards. During Cincinnati’s most recent matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, the 25-year-old receiver was on the field for a grand total of one snap.
In 2017, Ross was regarded as one of the top receiving prospects after an impressive 2016 campaign at Washington that saw him catch 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. Then when he ran his 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine in 4.22 seconds, his draft stock skyrocketed.
So with the report of Ross wanting the Bengals to trade him, there’s already been speculation about where he could land if he’s dealt before this year’s deadline. Surprisingly, there’s someone who believes the Vikings could potentially end up as the new home for the current Cincinnati receiver.
CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo recently listed seven teams who could trade for Ross and Minnesota was included in the group. DeArdo thinks that Ross could take on the role as the Vikings’ No. 3 receiver behind Jefferson and Thielen.
"“After trading away Stefon Diggs this past offseason, Minnesota’s passing game has yet to find a third reliable option behind Adam Thielen (32 catches, 415 yards, and seven touchdowns) and rookie Justin Jefferson (28 catches, 537 yards, and three touchdowns). Tight ends Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith have just 20 catches between them thus far, while receiver Bisi Johnson has just five catches for 93 yards through six games. The addition of Ross could make things easier for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has thrown a league-high 10 interceptions through six games.”"
Kirk Cousins has been playing poorly this year, but adding another receiver to the mix doesn’t seem like it would be the answer to his problems. Cousins is still slowly gaining trust in other receivers not named Adam Thielen and giving up assets to acquire someone like Ross doesn’t seem like it would be the best decision for Minnesota to make.
If the Vikings could add the Bengals receiver in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick, then maybe they would make a deal. But giving up anything more than that feels like too much to acquire someone like Ross who, in four seasons, only has 196 more career receiving yards than Jefferson.
Minnesota might make a trade or two before this year’s deadline, but it shouldn’t be one that adds another pass-catcher to their roster. They’ve got plenty of other more important needs right now than finding a No. 3 receiver.