The Vikings could be in the market for a middle linebacker if they don't come to terms with Jasper…
Vikings owe Browns a Valentine
In the spirit of the Valentine's Day, the Vikings should consider buying something nice for the Cleveland Browns because, if not for the Cleveland organization, the Vikings could have a much different look as a team.
Over the last couple of years, the Vikings have made draft-related trades with Cleveland that impacted the Minnesota roster. In 2010, the Vikings traded defensive end Jayme Mitchell to the Browns for a 2012 draft pick – a move that opened the door to future deals.
In 2011, the Vikings traded a fifth-round draft pick to the Browns for two sixth-round picks, which Minnesota used to take offensive tackle DeMarcus Love and safety Mistral Raymond. Raymond worked his way in and out of the starting lineup and Love, who was placed on injured reserve early in the 2012 season, remains on the roster.
In 2012, the Vikings swung a pre-draft trade with the Browns, allowing Cleveland to move in front of the Vikings to select running back Trent Richardson. The Vikings dropped back one spot and were able to select the player they wanted all along – offensive tackle Matt Kalil. As part of that deal, the Vikings acquired a pair of mid-round picks, which they used to take wide receiver Jarius Wright and defensive back Robert Blanton – adding depth at two positions that were pre-draft areas of need.
The Mitchell trade came back to roost in the sixth round of last year's draft. Armed with a sixth-round pick from the Mitchell deal, it gave the Vikings the ammunition needed to make a gutsy late-round pick and draft a kicker, which turned out to be Blair Walsh.
Thanks to deals with the Browns, the Vikings were able to add a pair of rookie Pro Bowlers in Kalil and Walsh, as well as potential key contributors in Wright, Blanton and Love. Whether it ends up being a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates, at a minimum, the Vikings owe the Browns a card of thanks letting them know that they appreciate the role Cleveland has played in the rebuilding of the Vikings' roster because, without the trades the Vikings have made over the last three seasons with Cleveland, the Minnesota roster could look much different – reason enough to give the Browns a token of thanks.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
PackerReport.com Recommended Stories
Cobb Finally Off and Running
It took seven games but the YAC-producing, tackle-breaking Randall Cobb returned on Sunday against Carolina (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)Read More
Same Old Aaron
With a depleted supporting cast of proven playmakers, Aaron Rodgers might be having his best season. Nonetheless, Rodgers' brilliant numbers haven't exactly dropped the jaws of anyone in the Packers'…Read More
Packers’ Defense Solving Problem Spots
One week at a time, Green Bay's defense has been turning its weaknesses into strengths. With Week 7 almost in the books, the Packers rank 10th in points and tied for eighth in yards per play, and sore…Read More
Dr. Roto Video: Waiver Wire Wednesday
Dr. Roto believes Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry will overtake WR Brian Hartline as the team's No. 2 receiver sooner rather than later. Stay ahead of the curve with Dr. Roto!Read More
Giants Strike First In Game One Rout
The San Francisco Giants came out swinging in Game One of the 2014 World Series, scoring three times in the first inning and never looking back.Read More