clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Should the Panthers Trade for Matt Kalil?

Though the Vikings have not indicated they would be willing to trade the #4 pick from the 2012 draft, should the Panthers still make an inquiry? Help me decide what to offer the Vikings in this make believe scenario.

Can we get both brothers in electric blue?
Can we get both brothers in electric blue?
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

A lot depends on how you view Kalil's performance his first three seasons. Most agree he was stellar his rookie season but then injuries derailed his sophomore campaign. Yet that doesn't excuse his dreadful 2014 season which PFF rated as one of the worst tackle performances in the league. Even if you loath PFF like Kalil does, you wont find many people willing to say is sure to rebound this year. So could a change of scenery help?

Obviously I'm banking on whatever his troubles are, playing with his brother in the huddle will be a big help. I'd like to give it a go if the price was right. Also before you think this out of left field, consider the Vikings have until May 3 to exercise Kalil's 5ht year option, which will come with a whopping price tag.

Matt Kalil - Minnesota Vikings Blog - ESPN
The other looming issue here is Kalil's fifth-year option; the Vikings have to decide on it in May, and they would owe him the transition tag amount for left tackles in 2016, which should be over $10 million. It's only guaranteed for injury in 2015, and if Kalil returns to his Pro Bowl play as a rookie, he could be worth it. But considering he got off to a slow start this year after offseason knee surgery -- and he plays one of the more injury-prone positions in the game -- the option carries some risk.

With the 11th pick in the draft the Vikings could well nab one of the better OTs available. They just might view rolling the dice with a rookie picked outside the top 10 (plus whatever they get in trade for Kalil) is better than paying an average at best OT $10M a season. It's very possible. So now what might we offer? I would use evaluations like this one to drive the price down.

Minnesota Vikings: The Matt Kalil Conundrum
I mean, it’s one thing to struggle like Kalil did in 2013, but it’s an entirely new level of dreadful play when you stick out as a liability more than guys like Vladimir Ducasse and Charlie Johnson, who are not starting-caliber players in this league. The fact that Kalil was worse than these guys in his third season is troubling, especially since he seemed primed for a breakout campaign after apparently getting past the knee woes that held him back in 2013.

Matt Kalil - Minnesota Vikings - 2015 Player Profile -
That means Kalil would get paid the average salary of the ten highest-paid players at his position. Joel Corry from the National Football Post believes that figure would be around $10.75 million. That hardly seems worth it after Kalil graded out as Pro Football Focus' fourth-worst offensive tackle in 2014, leaving the Vikings with a tough decision.

So we need to be sure his knees are good. Here's another Vikings writer blasting Kalil response to PFF's 2014 season rankings for him:

Matt Kalil Blasts Pro Football Focus, Misses the Plot | Vikings Territory
Was his footwork wrong? Was he slow to move upfield by design or by limitation? Was he taking extra care to get rid of the inside move? I don’t know. What he did was wrong, and it is fairly obviously his responsibility. Whether or not his technique on that play was not enough to stop a wide rush (where offensive linemen are consistently taught to drop deep regardless) or his guess on Jared Allen’s counter-move was wrong, he didn’t do his job, where in previous years, he did.

This sort of thing pops up constantly for players like Matt Kalil. Kalil has been penalized 11 times this season, the second-most of any offensive tackle. Did the Vikings call the "Kalil should false start" play? I’m not trying to be snide, so much as attempting to demonstrate that there are very few instances where an informed analyst grades a play poorly because they misunderstood what happened. Matt Kalil has allowed sacks to players he’s clearly actively trying to stop, and allowed sacks to players without other players (offensive or defensive) in the same area code, which would force us to ask what exactly his assignment was.

Pretty scathing really. I'm still interested though. So now the price scale. I'm not going to get outlandish in either direction. At the top end I would say the Panthers #25 pick plus a late round pick. At the low end I'm going to say a 3rd rounder (like the Greg Olsen trade). So first help me decide whether to make an offer and then if so how much. I think we would be on the hook for that $10M in salary but that is not a bad price for a good left tackle, assuming he will be a good left tackle playing in Carolina. The Panthers could simply give him a new 3 or 4 year deal to get the cap hit down. So what say ye Panther fans... Matt Kalil anyone?