Will the Vikings trade for a tight end?
During Minnesota’s win over the Arizona Cardinals this past Sunday, Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. reportedly suffered a high ankle sprain that could result in him missing the team’s next few games according to multiple reports.
Following this news, some felt that the chances of Minnesota making a deal for a tight end before Tuesday’s trade deadline went up. However, it still seems unlikely that the Vikings would be willing to make a trade for any of the notable tight ends that have recently been involved in the rumor mill.
Mike Gesicki (Miami Dolphins): Mike Gesicki is a name that seems to come up frequently when possible Minnesota trade targets are mentioned. But Gesicki has a cap hit of over $10 million this season and the Vikings currently have less than $1 million in cap space.
Minnesota can shuffle some contracts around to create a few million dollars in additional cap space if needed, but creating more than $10 million in cap space seems nearly impossible.
Albert Okwuegbunam (Denver Broncos): Albert Okwuegbunam is reportedly available, and given the Vikings’ connection to Denver general manager George Paton, this might be a better route for Minnesota to take if they’re looking to trade for a tight end. Plus, the price to land Okwuegbunam in a deal isn’t expected to be too high.
In five games this year, Okwuegbunam has caught seven passes for 50 yards. Last season, he finished with 33 catches for 330 yards and two touchdowns in 14 appearances.
T.J. Hockenson (Detroit Lions): The Lions reportedly haven’t received any calls recently from teams wanting to trade for tight end T.J. Hockenson, but that hasn’t stopped people from speculating about him potentially being shipped out of Detroit before Tuesday’s deadline.
Even Hockenson knows there’s a chance that he could be dealt before this year’s deadline, given the nature of business in the NFL. But even if the Vikings want to trade for the Lions tight end, they would likely be required to give up more in a deal than another team since they are an NFC North rival.
*Update: The Vikings have acquired Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round draft pick, and a conditional 2024 fourth-round selection in exchange for a 2023 second-round draft pick and a 2024 third-round selection, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.