After Everson Griffen's emergence meant Stephen Weatherly's playing time had dried up in Minnesota, the Vikings defensive end had been looking for a trade to end his second stint with the Vikings. He got a new home on Saturday.
The Vikings traded Weatherly to the Broncos, receiving a seventh-round pick in exchange for the defensive end and a 2023 seventh-rounder, according to a league source. The move gives Weatherly a new home with Broncos General Manager George Paton, who helped draft him in 2016 with the Vikings, and should help the Vikings recoup about $1 million of salary cap space, with roughly two-thirds of Weatherly's $1.5 million base salary transferring to the Broncos.
Weatherly had played just 36 snaps in the Vikings' past four games, and a league source said this week the defensive end was looking for a trade to a team that might have a larger role for him.
The Vikings brought Weatherly back on a one-year deal after the Panthers released him in February, but Griffen's emergence as a starter has meant fewer snaps at defensive end for Weatherly, as D.J. Wonnum has still maintained a part-time role behind Griffen and Danielle Hunter.
Griffen, who'd signed a one-year veteran minimum deal in training camp, has posted four sacks in the Vikings' past four games, starting the past two and playing 85% of their snaps in last week's overtime win over the Panthers. The Vikings had initially planned to use the 33-year-old in a rotational role, but as he'd played well enough to earn more playing time, Weatherly started to contemplate his second exit from Minnesota in 19 months.