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Why the Vikings NEED to trade for Trent Williams

Tanishka Mhaskar
April 21, 2020
Photo: USA Today, Redskins

The Minnesota Vikings are in need of more offensive line help. They’re too far down to grab one of the four plug and play linemen in Tristan Wirfs, Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Willis and Mekhi Becton. After that, there's a significant drop off. The Vikings need a new plug and play left tackle, and the perfect man might just be Washington Redskins LT Trent Williams. This Williams-Washington saga has gone on for almost ten months, and both sides want closure.

 A former NFL GM this week said that “He [Trent Williams] would be the first tackle taken this year in the draft, hands down...even at his age. You know what you got. You bring him in, you’re going to get three to four years out of him, and it’s going to be Pro Bowl years."

There have been two primary concerns surrounding Vikings fans when the idea of a Trent Williams trade is brought up: age and money. 

Williams is 31 right now and he will be 32 before the season starts. Although it may seem like he’s old, he’s an offensive tackle. In the past, tackles have played at elite levels past their mid thirties. Two recent examples would be Jason Peters, a former Philadelphia Eagle and Andrew Witworth of the LA Rams. 

Both players have continued to play fairly well into their late thirties. It can be done. It has been done. OT isn’t a position like RB where players lose a step at that age. The Vikings could get at least three elite years out of Williams. 

Concern two: money. Reports surfaced a while ago indicating that Williams wanted upward of 20 million dollars per year, but that has not been the case, as spelled by his agent. It was never about money in Washington, but about Williams’ relation with the front office and medical team. 

The Vikings have around 12 million dollars in cap space right now. They would need 5 million dollars for rookies, and a Williams deal would have to involve dealing current LT Riley Reiff. Doing so post-June 1st would save the VIkings a whopping 11 million dollars. In total, this is more than enough money to pay Williams and have money left over. 

Cap is a myth.

Recently, former Vikings coach/Offensive line coach Mike Tice said, “The Vikings don't have a left tackle (Riley) Reiff did an admirable job at left tackle last year but that’s not what he is He’d be better served for him & his career moving forward if he played any other offensive line position but center"

The Vikings are far too down to grab a top rookie tackle, so a trade seems imminent. It’s a golden opportunity, and it would be surprising to see the Vikings pass it up.

A former GM said, "He’s legit one of the top five tackles in the NFL, hands down, right now. … He’s a great guy and a great teammate. Players love being around him.”