The Four Best Potential Vikings Trade Targets: Center

August 16, 2022
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The oft-lamented Vikings’ center situation has drawn even more attention at training camp this year. Several tweets from multiple analysts have reinforced the legitimacy of fans’ primary gripe with Bradbury; he gets pushed around a lot. Some noting that he has not improved on his weakness, and others citing specific reps on which he was overpowered.

Rumblings that Minnesota is exploring the trade market for a replacement have been confirmed and a common question I’m seeing posited in response is “What centers could they even trade for?”.

Well, I have four candidates that I think could be an upgrade over Garrett Bradbury this season.

Nick Martin, New Orleans Saints

The 29-year-old younger brother of perennial Pro Bowler, Zack Martin, could provide some needed stability at the center spot.

Career And Credentials

After being selected no. 50 overall in the 2016 draft out of Notre Dame, he started 62 games for the Texans from 2017-2020 and his play garnered him a three-year, $33million extension that would have kept him in Houston through 2022.

In 2020, however, the Texans cut him to clear cap space in the midst of a swirling rebuild, and he spent the 2021 season as a backup for the Raiders. The Saints signed him to a one-year, $1.2million deal to backup fourth-year stud, Erik McCoy. With the clear starter in place in New Orleans, it should not cost the Vikings much to go get him.

Listed at 6’4″ 295 pounds, Martin has plenty of size to go along with his experience on the interior.

Potential Trade

Vikings Trade: 2023 6th Round Pick

Saints Trade: Nick Martin

A 6th Rounder seems appropriate here; and it could just as easily be a 2024 pick. Martin isn’t a player the Vikings should need to pry away from New Orleans, but he’s also not necessarily on the trading block.

Justin Britt, Houston Texans

Another veteran option is Justin Britt. At 6’6″, 325 pounds, he would be an absolute anchor in the middle of the Vikings’ line.

Career And Credentials

Drafted 64th overall by Seattle in 2014, Britt actually played his entire rookie season starting at Right Tackle. He started all 16 games at Left Guard the following season before finding his niche at Center in 2016, even earning a Pro Bowl nod as an alternate.

He signed a two-year, $9million extension with Houston this past March but they could part with him if the price is right.

This positional versatility could be an added bonus in the eyes of the front office. The Vikings spent money this offseason on guys like Chris Reed and Jesse Davis who’ve both started at multiple positions across the offensive line.

Potential Trade

Vikings Trade: Garrett Bradbury

Texans Trade: Justin Britt, 2024 6th Round Pick

This is the only case where I feel like Bradbury makes sense as part of the trade package. Houston, still rebuilding, could look to get younger here as Pep Hamilton continues to build out his offense.

He will carry a dead cap hit upon being traded as his rookie contract is fully guaranteed, but management needs to do what is best for the roster this season and going forward. Britt would be under contract for both this season and next.

Matt Hennessy, Atlanta Falcons

Matt Hennessy enters his third NFL season as a promising young Center with room to grow. Hennessy turns 25 this November making him just over two years younger than Bradbury.

Career And Credentials

Hennessy netted a 77.1 overall grade from PFF last season in a pedestrian offense compared to Bradbury’s 60.2. PFF grades are of course not a tell-all metric, but that gap is stark enough to warrant some consideration.

The Temple alum anchors well in pass protection for a guy his size (6’4″ 305 pounds), but certainly needs to improve his technique there going forward. He is an absolute force in the run game already.

Potential Trade

Vikings Trade: 2023 3rd Round Pick, 2024 6th Round Pick

Falcons Trade: Matt Hennessy

Hennessy was selected in the third round in 2020 and has proven himself to be a capable starter since. With him being under team control through 2023, the Vikings will need to shell out multiple picks to acquire him.

David Andrews

This is the big fish that could really make a huge impact on the Vikings’ Offensive Line. If I’m Kwesi, I’m getting on the phone with ol’ Bill about his starting Center.

Career And Credentials

David Andrews is a two-time Super Bowl champion, and snapped the ball in a third with the Patriots. He’s never cracked the Pro Bowl but has been an integral part of some great units.

This may be a tough trade to pull off given that long-time starter at Right Guard, Shaq Mason was shipped out from New England just a few months ago; but that is also further precedent.

Belichek has never been too hesitant to move on from veteran players. Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, Logan Mankins and many others were traded, cut or simply not re-signed in the Brady Era following very productive years. In addition to this, Andrews is on the second year of a four-year extension but that extension includes less than $1million guaranteed past this season along with an opt-out clause after this season.

Although the Patriots run more of a power scheme, there is a chance they have some interest in a Bradbury swap. Andrews is set to make $4.275million this year, right around Bradbury’s cap hit of $4.1million. The Vikings would still be responsible for Bradbury’s $4.1million in the event if a cut or trade because he is still on the final year of his fully guaranteed rookie contract.

Potential Trade

Vikings Trade: 2023 5th Round Pick, 2024 4th Round Pick

Patriots Trade: David Andrews

A trade involving the Patriots is difficult to valuate but I think this is a fair return for a savvy veteran who spent years reading defenses with Tom Brady would be a real leader at the line of scrimmage.

Leave a comment with your favorite trade candidate from this list, or one I’m missing!