The Vikings have about three hours to find a suitable trade partner or make on very tough decision.
Josina Anderson of espn.com said that she recently received a text from a high ranking Vikings official saying that the team is “Still waiting to see if we have a trade partner.” Another ESPN personality, John Clayton, says that the Vikings are still focused on trying to get Tampa Bay to bounce up two spots.
Clayton, one of the few remaining holdouts, still believes Matt Kalil will be the Vikings choice if they stay at the three spot.
Well, once again, if the Claiborne chatter is smoke… the Vikings are taking it to a ridiculous level.
Steve Wyche of nfl.com reports that the Vikings have LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne at the top of their draft board (presumably, after Andrew Luck) and says a source “reinforced” reports that the Vikings are leaning in that direction.
Of course, many will still believe that all of this Claiborne talk is aimed at generating further trade interest, which is entirely possible.
I once suggested (sorry, couldn’t find the link to prove it) that Vikings fans that would truly be willing to give up something significant to see their team remain in Minnesota should send the Wilf family a letter asking them to auction off their Draft picks for cash as a means to help pay for a new stadium. In the letter, the fan would pledge to buy five years worth of season tickets no matter how poorly the team ended up being as a result.
That was an outrageous idea that would never happen, but Republican Representative Mike Benson has promised to try and remove gambling aspects from the Vikings stadium bill and replace it with a funding mechanism that could hurt the team’s competitive advantage.
In addition to taxes targeting game day fans at the stadium, Benson proposes a 4% tax on the players and executives that make more than $200,000 per year.
It really isn’t an unreasonable thought, but this could have a negative impact on the Vikings when bidding on players in free agency. If a player gets an offer from the Vikings, they will always be reminded by their agents that 4% of their checks will be heading elsewhere.
The idea seems to be popular amongst Republicans at the State level.
Things have been awfully quiet on the Ryan Tannehill front over the last week or so, and thus trade rumors and speculation between the Dolphins and the Vikings has also come to a halt.
A few moments ago, however, Daniel Wolf of National Football Authority tweeted that his “contacts have confirmed” that the Dolphins are once again sniffing around the Vikings third overall selection in an attempt to ensure Tannehill wears a marine mammal on his helmet next year.
One thing is for sure, there is a big market out there for the Vikings top pick, and it is looking increasingly possible that they could hold an auction and possibly land a blockbuster deal that boosts their draft power this year and next.
As we continue to frantically gather tea leaves with hopes of successfully reading them, here is yet another interesting nugget of news.
Both the Cleveland Browns (#4) and the Tampa Bay Bucs (#5) have spoken with the Vikings regarding a trade up to the three spot to grab running back Trent Richardson, according to Charley Casserly.
Either of these scenarios could prove to be ideal for the Vikings. They could move back picking up extra selections while also getting a chance at either Matt Kalil or Morris Claiborne.
Even though the day has arrived in which the Vikings will make their true intentions known regarding the third overall selection in the Draft, there is still time for subterfuge.
One interesting report floating around right now comes from Viking Update. They sent out this tweet saying that LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne’s people were spotted in New York with Vikings gear in tow. This could be a sign of things to come, but it also wouldn’t be totally unreasonable to expect this is just more smoke.
If the Vikings do not plan on selecting Claiborne, however, then they are doing a darn good job of making it seem that way. Nearly every media typ is starting to waver when it comes to Matt Kalil being the pick including Michael Lombardi who says the Vikings are “focused” on Claiborne with hopes of getting an offensive tackle in the second round.