No sooner than the NFL Scouting Combine kicked off Wednesday in Indianapolis did the rumors start flying out the doors of Lucas Oil Stadium about players on the block to be traded. Now, we know how this works. Some of these rumors are legit and can be substantiated, others are simply ploys by general managers to see what sort of value a player has or to throw up a smokescreen elsewhere.
Still, when the Minnesota Vikings pop up on day number one in the trade rumors our ears are going to perk up a little bit.
That rumor today surrounds trading cornerback Trae Waynes. Drafting Mike Hughes in the first round a year ago, seeing something in Holton hill, getting progression out of Mackensie Alexander, those are all things that would make a guy like Trae Waynes expendable if the team was looking to get a little cap flexibility.
But I think you could argue that last year was Waynes' best season as a pro and that he really started to come into his own as a starter in the league. Clearing Waynes would get you just over $9 million in cap flexibility...but let's say you were able to move someone else. Someone that would offer you more relief on the cap and could garner more interest and more return on the trade market.
What if the Vikings traded Xavier Rhodes instead of Trae Waynes?
Rhodes has been a stud in this league and at one point was arguably one of the best CBs in the league. That's not what we saw last year though. In 2018 Xavier Rhodes was merely average. He struggled through little injuries here and there and was certainly not the dominating "Rhodes Closed" force that we had seen in previous years.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, in 2018 Rhodes graded out as the 101st best CB in the league with a 58.2 rating. Waynes on the other hand came in at the 49th spot for CBs with a position grade of 69.1. He's two years younger than Rhodes as well.
Then there's the money and the value. For the money, if Waynes clears you $9 million, how do you like the sound of clearing $13MM this year, $13MM next year, $14MM the year after that? He's a bigger name, so he might get more traction on the market as well. Yeah he's more proven than Waynes but you have to decide what last season was, a trend of mirage?