3. Detroit Lions CB Darius Slay
There are a lot of moving parts here. The Vikings have an obvious decision to cut Xavier Rhodes, which would clear $8.1 million in cap space and leave behind $4.8 million in dead money. Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander are also free agents, and both may be gone (Waynes more likely than Alexander). So there will be some sort of void to fill at cornerback, it’s only a question of how significant.
Slay has been the subject of trade rumors entering the final year of his contract, and he has implied desire to be the highest-paid corner in the NFL. His $13.3 million cap hit for this year, not to mention what he’ll look for in a new contract ($15-$16 million per year?), looks unpalatable for the Vikings and quite a few teams could say the same when looking at their own bigger pictures.
But, with a contract extension for Cousins, some other moves to restructure contracts in order to lower salary cap hits and some cuts, the Vikings could make room for Slay to become their new No. 1 corner. A couple high draft picks will be required to get him, with the Ram’s acquisition of Jalen Ramsey as the template, and it might be worth it.