The Vikings have all sorts of deadlines to navigate over the next several days, but in advance of them they have been fielding calls regarding potential trades as part of a league-wide frenzy to gauge in interest in player movement, general manager Rick Spielman said.
NFL teams have to trim their rosters from 75 players to 53 by 8 p.m. Central Friday. That means over the next several days, more than 700 players will have been outright released (veterans with four or more years of service) or placed on waivers.
Teams low on the waiver wire claiming order, based on last year's record, might be willing to give up a low-round draft choice in order to acquire a player that would otherwise go on waivers. That was the case in 2010, when the Vikings traded QB Sage Rosenfels and WR/RB Darius Reynaud to the New York Giants for a fifth-round draft choice as part of the roster moves to get to 53 players.
"Every team is calling everybody now," Spielman said Wednesday, "setting up things potentially. ‘Hey, where are you heavy? This is what we're looking for. Potential guys you may let go?' There's a lot of talk going on this week."
Of course, Spielman wasn't going to get into specifics of potential trades and there likely isn't going to be a trade that yields the Vikings anything higher than a mid-round draft choice, but Spielman has earned a reputation for treasuring draft picks as part of his roster-building plan.
"I think you're always interested in upgrading if you can, if you think there is somebody that can help your football team get better," head coach Leslie Frazier said this week. "I'm sure that in our conversations between Rick and I, that's something we always talk about if there is somebody out there that can upgrade your roster."
Safety is one position where the Vikings have had a training camp battle for the starting spots, but Frazier said "I think we're OK with the guys we have at safety" as long as they don't lose any players there to injury in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Houston Texans.
However, linebacker and wide receiver appear to be two positions of need.
"(Linebacker) is a position, along with a few others, that we'll look and see if we can upgrade if there is somebody that can make us better," Frazier said. "If not, we'll stand pat."
The Vikings have the advantage of being No. 3 on the waiver claim order until Sept. 25, so it seems more likely that the Vikings would claim a player than trade for one with their focus on getting younger and players with three or fewer years of experience needing to go through waivers.
It is possible, however, that they could look to unload one of their own players for a low- or mid-round draft choice.
"It could be today, it could be Friday. You don't know," Spielman said of any potential trades. "You don't know (when) that next call that you talk to someone (will be). It's hard to predict. We have all our systems in place."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Vikings GM: Trade talks heating up this week
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