The Vikings were expected to give the Raiders a seventh-round pick in exchange for third-year defensive tackle P.J. Hall. Hall had to pass a few benchmarks before the Vikings gave the Raiders the pick, including making the 53-man roster and the playing in six games.
But the former Raiders prospect couldn’t even get to the Vikings practice field. Hall failed his physical on Tuesday which nullifies the trade and any chance of the Raiders receiving the pick for the star they had intended on cutting from the roster before Monday’s trade.
Hall, a second-round pick in 2018, was expected to supplement the Vikings defensive line after losing nose tackle Michael Pierce, who opted out of the 2020 season due to health issues.
Hall’s main concern has been his work ethic with the Raiders despite starting in 12 games last season. Raiders coach Jon Gruden called Hall out last week with concerns over his weight. “P.J. Hall, I’m anxious to see where his weight is, he came in overweight last year and at that position that can’t happen,” Gruden said. He was reported to have been cut on Monday before the trade was confirmed.
While having Hall would have given the Vikings more options in retooling its defensive interior following the release of longtime run stuffer Linval Joseph, Zimmer has been preparing to move on with his current linemen.
“Without going into too much detail, we’ve got a plan and will stick to it,” Zimmer said in a press conference following the release of Pierce.
Hall will return to the Raiders who likely will have a sit down with the former second-round prospect soon.
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Defensive Line Still Needs an Answer at Nose Tackle
Following Tuesday’s developments, the Vikings are back at square one with finding a replacement for Pierce. It’s now becoming a patchwork repair of the defensive interior with smaller defensive tackles in Shamar Stephen, Armon Watts and Jaleel Johnson.
Watts is considered a potential breakout candidate for the position behind veterans Stephen and Johnson, but Watts was added to the COVID-19 reserve list on Tuesday and will miss valuable practice time leading into his second year.
The acclimation process has already resulted in some snags for the Vikings who can either role with their current defensive linemen or give another go at a player outside the team. Due to double-testing at training camp, an outside player won’t be able to hit the practice field until roughly five days after their first initial test and visit to the practice facility, per general manager Rick Spielman.
Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.