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The Minnesota Vikings dropped to 1-5 on Sunday. Teams with those sort of struggles to start a season typically enter fire sale mode at this time of year, and it might have started for the Vikings on Thursday. The team chose to ship defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens.
That decision will net Minnesota a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round pick.
If the Vikings are in fact in a fire sale, there are more players on the roster who will be reevaluated. Some of those players are worthy of decent draft capital, while others are viewed more as payroll dead weight.
Here are five Vikings who could be moved prior to the NFL’s trade deadline on Nov. 3.
1. Riley Reiff, Offensive Tackle
Riley Reiff has played close to a decade in the NFL. At 31 years old, his best football is behind him, but he could still be a serviceable option for a tackle-needy team. Ezra Cleveland was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft to Reiff’s long-term replacement.
The time to move the former first-round pick is now. The compensation won’t be anything special, but there is next to nothing at the position available on the free agent market right now. That could drive his price up some. The Tennessee Titans might be worth contacting after losing starting left tackle Taylor Lewan was lost for the season due to a torn ACL.
2. Kyle Rudolph, Tight End
The coaching staff loves Kyle Rudolph, but his time in Minnesota should be coming to an end soon. Last year’s second-round pick Irv Smith Jr. is waiting in the wings and brings a balanced approach to the position. He can be an effective receiving option — when utilized — and is an underrated blocker in the run game.
With Rudolph being on the other side of 30 years old, his value to a team that should be rebuilding in minimal. The Arizona Cardinals or New England Patriots make the most sense as far as destinations, but the Buffalo Bills could also use a boost at tight end as well.
3. Anthony Harris, Safety
Anthony Harris is currently working through this season on the franchise tag, and that makes his future in Minnesota murky. The safety position is really valued much on the trade market unless you’re Jamal Adams, but it’s worth looking into potential suitors.
Harris has a little more youth on his side than the first two players on this list. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound safety just turned 29 earlier in October. How much that factors in remains to be seen, but it’s more likely that he’s moved than aging Harrison Smith — although both are possibilities.
With the Cleveland Browns trading for Ronnie Harrison earlier this season, it’s unlikely that they’d make another move for Harris. The potential suitors are limited, but maybe a team like the Dallas Cowboys would still have interest despite the downward spiral.
4. Adam Thielen, Wide Receiver
Adam Thielen can still be a long-term piece for Minnesota. Even at 30 years old, he remains a productive player and the single-most important part of the offense outside of Dalvin Cook. He’s on pace for 85 receptions, 1,107 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.
But if the right offer came available, it’s acceptable to move on. Justin Jefferson is showing tons of potential as a future top option in the passing game, and more draft capital might be more valuable depending on the looming decision at quarterback.
5. Kirk Cousins, Quarterback
Kirk Cousins is not playing good football right now. In fact, it’s reached a point where his status as a franchise quarterback is in serious doubt. Those concerns are also a reason a trade might be difficult to manufacture, however.
That especially holds true considering the two-year extension Cousins signed earlier this offseason. It was an extension that added another $31 million of guaranteed money to what is owed to the former fourth-round pick.
It might be difficult to deal Cousins, but it’s something that the Vikings need to explore. Whether it’s before the deadline or sometime during the offseason. Would now 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan want a reunion with his former quarterback in Washington?
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.