Vikings send cornerback Hughes to Chiefs in late-round pick swap

Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes celebrates after returning an interception 28-yards for a touchdown. (Bruce Kluckhohn/AP)

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings traded cornerback Mike Hughes, their 2018 first-round draft pick, to the Kansas City Chiefs in a swap of late-round selections Thursday.

The Vikings sent their 2022 seventh-round pick to the Chiefs for their 2022 sixth-round choice, a minimal gain for an injury-hampered player in danger of being released.

The Vikings last week declined the fifth-year contract option for Hughes, who has 13 passes defensed, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions in 24 career games. Hughes missed more than half of Minnesota’s games over the last three years to injuries, first tearing the ACL in his left knee as a rookie. He cracked a bone in his neck in the last regular-season game in 2019 that kept him out of the playoffs. Neck trouble persisted last year, limiting him to four games.

The Vikings drafted three cornerbacks last year: Jeff Gladney in the first round, Cameron Dantzler in the third round and Harrison Hand in the fifth round. Then they added two free agents at the position this spring: Patrick Peterson, the three-time All-Pro, and Mackensie Alexander, the team’s 2016 second-round pick who returned after one season away.

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