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Vikings deal 2018 first-round pick to Kansas City, get sixth-rounder in return

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Minnesota Vikings’ Mike Hughes returns a kickoff during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in Minneapolis. The Packers won 23-10. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Mike Hughes will attempt to return from a neck injury that ended his 2020 season, but it won’t be with the Vikings.

Minnesota dealt the cornerback and a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Kansas City on Thursday for the Chiefs’ 2022 sixth-round pick.

The trade will save $1.178 million for the Vikings against the salary cap and cause a dead cap hit of $1.962 million.

The Vikings’ 2018 first-round pick, Hughes never was able to stay healthy during his time in Minnesota. He suffered a torn ACL as a rookie that limited him to six games in 2018 and 14 in 2019. Hughes sustained a cracked vertebra in Week 17 of the 2019 season and did not appear in the playoffs.

Hughes played in four games and started two early in the 2020 season, but he injured his neck in Week 6 against Atlanta and ended up on injured reserve. The 24-year-old had two interceptions, 13 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 24 games and seven starts with the Vikings.

Hughes’ career got off to a great start in 2018 as he returned an interception for a touchdown in the Vikings’ season-opening victory over San Francisco.

The Vikings took Hughes with the 30th selection of the 2018 draft out of Central Florida, two picks before Baltimore selected quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was the 2019 NFL MVP. The Vikings did not pick up the fifth-year option on Hughes’ contract last spring. He is set to make $1.826 million in the final year of his rookie contract in 2021.

The Vikings are likely to open the season with 2020 third-round pick Cameron Dantzler and veteran free agent addition Patrick Peterson playing as the outside corners and Mackensie Alexander, who returned as a free agent this offseason after a year in Cincinnati, playing inside in the nickel.

There has been no word on the status of Jeff  Gladney, the Vikings’ second pick of the first round in 2020. He turned himself into authorities in Dallas in April after an arrest warrant was issued against him for felony family violence assault. Gladney posted a $10,000 bond following his arrest.

The other cornerbacks on the Vikings’ depth chart include Kris Boyd, Harrison Hand and Dylan Mabin.