This week is a must win for the Minnesota Vikings. At 1-4, the Vikings are sitting in last place in the NFC North, trailing the Green Bay Packers by three games. A loss to the winless Giants tomorrow night means only one thing: let the trade talks begin.
Trades are rare in the NFL, but The Vikings have a few players that are of high trade value to some potential contending teams. Defensive end Jared Allen and quarterback Christian Ponder are two guys that would be beneficial trading blocks for the Vikings in the coming weeks.
Allen is an unrestricted free agent next season and will almost certainly leave the Vikings if they fail to make the playoffs. Come the trade deadline, teams that have a chance to make the playoffs and are in need of a good defensive end could look to the Vikings and Allen.
In return, the Vikings could look for help in the secondary. Injuries coped with poor play have hurt the Vikings all season in the secondary. The latest injury coming to safety Harrison Smith who is out for a significant amount of time. This is the area where Minnesota needs most of its help and Allen is worth a good safety or cornerback.
The Vikings have four quarterbacks on their roster. This means that somebody has to go. Ponder has the most value because of his age and mobility, and the Vikings should look to trade Ponder to teams that need quarterback help. Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns could all be interested in sending over a mid to late round draft pick for Ponder.
I still believe that Ponder could have a fighting chance to succeed in the NFL, but the Vikings are only peddling away his career by holding on to him any longer. The worst thing to do would be to release him, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did with Josh Freeman. Ponder still has some value and there are a lot of teams out there that have no depth at the quarterback position.
Don’t be surprised if the Vikings trade Allen even if they turn their season around. The defensive line will still be solid without him. Moving Allen would honestly be a good option for the Vikings either way. The play of the secondary has been the Vikings biggest problem all season and it will not be getting any better with Smith heading to the IR.
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