The Minnesota Vikings might be looking to rid themselves of their top selection in 2016; the Arizona Cardinals could be a good match if they decide to do so.
Not too long ago Laquon Treadwell was supposed to take the NFL by storm as the ‘next Andre Johnson.’ The Vikings bought into the hype and used the 23rd selection in the 2016 draft on him. However, as Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have blossomed into stars, Treadwell has struggled as the third option on the Vikings.
Since entering the league in 2016, Treadwell has started in just 15 out of 40 games played. In those games, the Ole Miss product has shown minimal production as has tallied only 56 receptions for 517 yards and a touchdown.
Treadwell is a reclamation project through and through. While the Arizona Cardinals already have one reclamation receiver project from the NFC North in Kevin White, adding a second would be a smart gamble into bolstering their receiving core.
If the Cardinals were to add Treadwell in a trade, he would have a small cap hit of $1.8 million in 2019, per Over The Cap. If they like what they see, they could slap a pricey fifth-year option on his contract to retain him through 2020, but that is unlikely.
The most intriguing aspect of trading for Treadwell is his low value. The Vikings aren’t expected to acquire more than a late-round pick if they were to trade him away, but, they might have to do so despite his the lack of trade value. The Vikings have just $2.3 million in cap space, per Over The Cap, and need to make rebuilding their offensive line a priority.
If the Arizona Cardinals do acquire Treadwell, they might be able to get the best out of him in a potentially larger role than he has ever seen in Minnesota. As you can tell in the clip below, he has shown flashes of dominance despite the lack of snaps.
Treadwell is a big bodied receiver (6-2, 215-lbs) that can win on 50/50 catches. But, we haven’t seen that Treadwell on a consistent basis in the NFL. His inability to separate from tight coverage and lack of speed (4.52 40-yard-dash) are two factors as to why he’s struggled.
Treadwell is a natural receiver and is a plus run-blocker. He has quick feet but could learn from Larry Fitzgerald’s school of creating seperation despite not having blazing speed. Simply put, at only 23-years-old he has all the tools to rebound his career; he might just need a new change of scenery to do so.
Acquiring Treadwell on the last year of his rookie contract for say a sixth-round compensatory selection would be a win for the Arizona Cardinals. If Steve Keim can make said trade a reality, he would be wise to bolster his receiving depth-chart with a low-risk, high-reward acquisition.