Trading Ezra Cleveland was "bittersweet" for Vikings
While the Vikings trade involving Josh Dobbs generated the most headlines for the team on Tuesday, their decision to trade veteran guard Ezra Cleveland to the Jacksonville Jaguars could have the most impact on their team during the rest of the season.
Cleveland suffered a foot injury during the Vikings' win over the Chicago Bears in Week 6, and it was severe enough to keep him out of action in Week 7 and Week 8.
During his absence, veteran offensive lineman Dalton Risner did well filling in for Cleveland at the left guard spot on Minnesota's offensive line. In fact, Risner played well enough that it resulted in the Vikings feeling comfortable enough to trade him to the Jaguars.
After the deal was made on Tuesday, Minnesota head coach Kevin O'Connell mentioned the performance of Risner as one of the reasons why the team was okay with sending Cleveland to Jacksonville.
O'Connell also called the move "bittersweet," as the Vikings were happy to get compensation for someone who was likely going to sign elsewhere in 2024, but it was difficult to move on from a player who has been in the starting lineup for basically the head coach's entire tenure with the franchise.