Chargers Rumors: Desmond King trade rumors to the Vikings heating up
By Jason Reed
LA Chargers Rumors: The rumor mill is churning for Desmond King and the Minnesota Vikings.
Desmond King is someone this offseason who has been in trade speculation before and continues to spark new LA Chargers rumors with the busiest part of the offseason now behind the team.
Prior to the 2020 NFL Draft, there was speculation that the Chargers could move up to the third overall pick to snag Tua Tagovailoa and that King would be part of that package to the Detroit Lions — nothing, obviously, formulated from that.
There are two reasons why King is a candidate to be traded this season. First, with the addition of Chris Harris, who is seemingly going to play slot corner whenever he can, and an already deep secondary, the Chargers can afford to trade King, who may take a lesser role after a bad season compared to his 2018 campaign last year.
Second, King is in the last year of his rookie contract. So not only is he a free agent after the year, and with so many other free agents he might not get re-signed, but he is also a cheap option for teams to pursue as he will not cost his potential new team much cap space, or dead cap to the Chargers.
With all this is mind, it is not surprising that he is the player that is sparking the most Chargers rumors this offseason, the latest being connected with the Minnesota Vikings.
LA Chargers Rumors: Desmond King likes a cryptic tweet
Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson tweeted out something very simple on Thursday: the letters DK with some choice emojis.
Now, this could mean anything. Did he just beat Donkey Kong? Is he going to Denmark?Did he just watch the “Dark Knight” trilogy?
Well, it was probably about Desmond King. King liked the tweet and was teammates with Johnson in college at Iowa. But would Johnson even tweet out something this cryptic? It would not make sense if there was not already existing speculation with the Minnesota Vikings.
ESPN NFL insider Field Yates posted an article on Thursday outlining potential trades that would help both teams. One of the trades was between the Chargers and Vikings, and included the Chargers trading Desmond King for tackle Riley Reiff.
This trade makes sense on paper. The Vikings just drafted Ezra Cleveland in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft and could slot him in to start at left tackle, thus flipping an area of strength for an area of need in the secondary.
RELATED: Grading the LA Chargers’ 2020 secondary
The Chargers would essentially be doing the same thing. They would be trading out of an area of strength to address a potential area of weakness while also helping the Vikings with their salary cap situation. The Chargers are among the top of the league in salary-cap space remaining.
Part of Yates’ proposed deal includes the Vikings paying $3.8 million of Reiff’s base salary to make this work financially for the Chargers, and it would not restrict the team from re-signing anyone next year. Reiff does have a $13.9 million cap hit next season, but the team would be freeing up over $27 million in cap space between just Melvin Ingram, Tyrod Taylor and King.
But this leads to the question: Could Desmond King be traded to the Minnesota Vikings?
On paper this makes sense and while it is fun to speculate, I do not think it happens, at least for Reiff. While he undoubtedly would be an upgrade at left tackle and would help solve the Chargers’ left side of the line, I truly believe that that Chargers have a lot of faith in Trey Pipkins this season.
Pipkins was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft as a developmental tackle and showed promising signs last season. The team not signing Jason Peters (at least not yet) could be a peek that shows us just how much they value Pipkins.
However, I would not be totally surprised if the Chargers rumors around a Desmond King trade eventually do come to fruition. I personally love King as a part of this secondary, but he is definitely movable for the right price.