Trading for Yannick Ngakoue in 2020
With Danielle Hunter out of action for an unknown amount of time, the Vikings and Rick Spielman felt they needed to make a move for a veteran pass rusher before the 2020 season, which eventually resulted in them acquiring Yannick Ngakoue.
In a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota sent over a 2021 second-round draft pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round pick in exchange for Ngakoue.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, it didn’t take long to realize the pass rusher wasn’t really a fit for their defense. Ngakoue was great at getting to the opposing quarterback, but tackling and stopping the run weren’t exactly two of his biggest strengths.
After Minnesota started the 2020 season with a 1-5 record, they decided to cut their losses and trade Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens after only six games in a purple and gold uniform.
Signing Bashaud Breeland in 2021
Following a disaster of a performance on the defensive side of the ball in 2020, the Vikings spent the 2021 offseason bringing in a handful of veteran free agents to try and help turn things around.
A good amount of Minnesota’s assets were spent on veteran defensive backs like Patrick Peterson, Mackensie Alexander, Xavier Woods, and Bashaud Breeland.
After he helped the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl in 2019, most thought Breeland could provide some veteran leadership for the Vikings defense. Instead, he provided some examples to Minnesota’s young defenders of what not to do.
Not only was Breeland horrendous in pass coverage for the Vikings during the 2021 season (allowed six touchdowns), but he was cut by the team after 13 games following an incident during a practice that involved him getting into it with players and coaches.