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2019 Cornerback Coffee Talk, no big whoop...

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17 minutes ago, swede700 said:

That would be the likely scenario, possibly they could move him to the 49ers at the top of the 2nd round, if there's a requisite player (i.e. Chris Lindstrom) available...the 49ers have the need and the cap space.  

Same with the Colts and pick 34 IMO.

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1 minute ago, VikeManDan said:

Same with the Colts and pick 34 IMO.

Very true.  Several of the teams at the top of the 2nd have needs at CB, because the Raiders, depending upon what they do with their 3 picks in the 1st also have the need.  The 34-36 spots could be the prime area for the Vikings to trade into with Waynes.  

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I'd be sad to see Waynes go but I think it would be the right move. We trade him for a 2019 draft pick rather than let him walk and potentially (very likely) get a 2021 compensatory pick. It would be a much easier decision had Hill not gotten busted for PEDs IMO.

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I suppose in reality then we want a lot of CBs to be taken in the 1st if we want to move Waynes.

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4 minutes ago, VikeManDan said:

I suppose in reality then we want a lot of CBs to be taken in the 1st if we want to move Waynes.

Also we don't want Spielman to be tempted to take one too.

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4 hours ago, VikeManDan said:

I suppose in reality then we want a lot of CBs to be taken in the 1st if we want to move Waynes.

Just not be the teams that would have interest in trading for him

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After the Vikings took tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the draft, there was a report that the team was getting calls from other teams about trading for veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph. Cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes were also said to be targets for other clubs, but General Manager Rick Spielman downplayed any outside interest in the team’s players after the draft was over.

Spielman:  “No, not really, no. I would say we didn’t. As I said, most of our day was honed in on this. Most of the calls were us either trying to move up or teams calling us for us to move back. But we had an opportunity, a couple opportunities to move back again, but I said we’re going to run out of players on our board. We should have enough to get what we need to get done.”

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/04/29/rick-spielman-on-calls-about-trading-vets-not-really/

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I think there's a real chance that Waynes will get an extension and stay with the Vikings, while Rhodes moves on. 

I'm not convinced that Rhodes will bounce back from last year. He may have already peaked. 

If Waynes continues to play well, and is willing to take a contract for CB2 money (something like $9-10M AAV, compare to Amukamara's deal with the Bears), I'd like to keep him. 

That scenario also requires Hughes to live up to the promise of his rookie season and show that he's on track to be a CB1 by his 3rd year. 

If by the end of the year, Waynes is still playing well, Hughes is developing as hoped, and Rhodes is treading water or declining, they can go to Rhodes and ask for a paycut / renegotiation.

Rhodes' cap hits are $12.9M ($4.8M dead) in 2019, $14.1 M ($2.4M dead) in 2020 and $13.9M (0 dead) in 2022. They could ask him to take a paycut next offseason, lowering his 2020 cap hit to market value (assuming he's declined, more like $8M) in return for guaranteed money on a deal that would void after one more year (2020). 

The ~$5M cap space saved would be enough to pay Waynes for 2020 on his extension, given that contracts are often back loaded to lower the first year cap hit. 

I'm not sure they can afford to keep Alexander in this scenario.

Hughes might be able to play as the NCB with Alexander gone, lining up outside in 2-CB packages, and moving into the slot in nickel. Rhodes would move to the CB3 role in 2020, playing outside in nickel -- like Josh Robinson used to do in 2014, when Munnerlyn was the CB2 who played slot in nickel packages. They could draft a slot corner on day 2 in 2020 so they have depth and a guy who could be more of a full time nickel by 2021 once Rhodes moves on. 

I'm not really factoring in much from Holton Hill given the suspension and his rocky track record in college. I think they'll want him on the team as a CB4 or CB5, but it'll be hard to give him a place higher up on the depth chart as long as he seems like an accident waiting to happen. 

Here's the depth chart I'm suggesting: 

  • 2019: Rhodes / Waynes / Alexander (NCB) / Hughes / Hill / rookie (let's say Boyd)
  • 2020: Hughes (NCB in nickel) / Waynes, with a $5M cap hit in year one of a $10M AAV extension / Rhodes, on a $8M 1 year deal (outside corner in nickel) / Hill / rookie NCB depth / Boyd
  • 2021: Hughes / Waynes / NCB in his 2nd year / Hill / Boyd / rookie drafted that year for depth

If they have the money to keep Alexander too, he could be the NCB starter in 2020 (Rhodes as the CB4) and onward, which means they wouldn't have to draft that rookie slot corner in 2020.

They'd break even in terms of 2020 cap space by extending Waynes and getting Rhodes to take a pay cut, and they'd be ~$4M ahead in 2021 and 2022 (since Waynes' cap hits would be more like $10M than $14M). That cap space would go a long way to retaining Alexander, whose extension would probably be in the $6-7M range (compare to Bryce Callahan getting $21M/3 from the Broncos). 

If they do let Waynes go, and keep Rhodes, they will still need to plan to replace him soon. Rhodes is 29 this year, and in the best realistic scenario he will play at a high level for only another year or two. None of PFF's top 25 CBs of 2018 were 30 years old or older (https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-top-25-cornerbacks-in-the-nfl-in-2018). Richard Sherman is 31. Josh Norman is 31. Xavier Rhodes will be 31 in 2 years. 

To replace Rhodes, Zimmer will want to use a 1st round pick. And that would pretty much have to be done in 2020, so the rookie gets a year to develop. That might be a big challenge, especially if they may need to find a QBOTF in the next year or two, depending on what happens with Cousins.  

Letting Rhodes go and keeping Waynes, all of this is much easier. They can break even financially. Hughes gets to play as the CB1, assuming he shows this year he's on track to be able to do that. And they don't need to use another 1st round pick on a corner until Waynes starts to age out, which would be more like 2022 or 2023. 

Plus Waynes was actually better than Rhodes last year, and think there's a good chance that trend continues from here on.  

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@Krauser put it way better than I have, but that's the similar line of thinking I've had for quite some time.  Personally, I would have traded Rhodes already...but letting the year play out and then asking him to take a pay cut after is fine as well.  If he rejects it, just outright cut him and take the $2.2M dead money hit.  

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a Waynes extension is also a way to help with the cap numbers for THIS year. I'll use Malcolm Butler's contract as a reference point as it was just signed (cap %/cap rising and all that jazz). He currently sits with a cap hit on his one year option of $9,069,000... if we take $8M of that (leaving him a bit over his $805K veteran minimum), add another $5M to give him a $13M signing bonus, spread that out over five years, and he could conceivably have a cap hit around $3,669,000 for this year. That frees up $5.4M in cap space for this year, and that's more than enough to sign our rookie class and give us a little bit of a buffer.  We could play around with that first year number through bonuses to even out the cap hit over the course of the contract.

Next year you'd definitely have to trade, cut, or renegotiate with Rhodes, but I think we are coming to that point anyway.

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For 2020 I would prefer Waynes, Hughes, Alexander, Hill, and Boyd.  A rookie would be added to the mix at some level depending on the development of the younger CBs.

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After the draft, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the Vikings were considering moving safety Jayron Kearse to weakside linebacker. Kearse has other plans. Via Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kearse expects to be in the mix for playing time as the slot corner when the Vikings launch their OTAs on Tuesday.

Kearse: “Last year, I played the nickel, but that was all off of instincts. Now, I had time to work at it knowing I’ll be in that role and playing that position.”

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/05/18/jayron-kearse-targets-the-slot-corner-job-in-minnesota/

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So in reality, he’s just another chess piece still. 

LB, S, CB.

BIG Nickle.

exactly what I’ve wanted him to be in Zimmers system even pre draft a few years back. 

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I thought it was going to be Kearse who stepped in as the regular starter once Sendejo got hurt instead of Harris.

Turns out he found his own role. Good for him!!

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Various Vikings players had their names pop up as part of trade chatter as the offseason unfolded and cornerback Xavier Rhodes was on that list. Rhodes didn’t wind up going anywhere, but that wasn’t because the team was overjoyed by his play last season. Head coach Mike Zimmer said Rhodes “needs to play up to that contract” he signed in 2017 that is set to pay him over $10 million this season.

The critique was received well by Rhodes. He said he appreciates “being hard on us, being tough on us” and believes last year’s play was worthy of a rebuke on many fronts.

“Me and him spoke on that,” Rhodes said, via the Pioneer Press. “I mean, we had a bad year as a whole team, so everybody was messing up. We all need to come together as at team and correct our mistakes. I was one of those guys being a leader on the team, not making as many plays as I did in previous years.”

Zimmer said on Wednesday that Rhodes is “doing better” this offseason, but the full response won’t come until several months from now.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/05/23/xavier-rhodes-appreciates-mike-zimmer-being-tough-on-him/

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