Possibility of a Vikings Trade with Broncos Just Became More Real

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The Minnesota Vikings need a WR2, and the Denver Broncos possess five wide receivers at least WR3-caliber or better.

That’s what you need to know about the state of play regarding a Vikings and Broncos trade, a transaction that became more likely on Friday.

Possibility of a Vikings Trade with Broncos Just Became More Real

Broncos general manager George Paton signed wide receiver Marquez Callaway, thickening the team’s depth chart. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted, “Source: WR Marquez Callaway plans to sign with the Broncos. Callaway reunites with Sean Payton. In 2021, Callaway had a career-high 46 catches, 698 yards and six touchdowns in Payton’s offense.”

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The Payton-Callaway reunion in the mountains certainly doesn’t guarantee a Vikings-Broncos trade, but it doesn’t dampen the likelihood either. At the moment, Denver employs WRs Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler, and now Callaway. That’s a lot of mouths to feed in a Payton offense and doesn’t even account for tight ends.

There’s a reason Jeudy and Sutton are reportedly on the trade block, and the Vikings, who need a WR2, could reasonably pick up the phone.

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And via The Athletic this week, one NFL aggregator tweeted about the Jeudy + Sutton trade saga, “The Broncos trade asking price for WRs Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton ‘remains too high’ for other NFL teams. The report says other teams see Jeudy as too inconsistent and Sutton isn’t viewed as a WR1 for that asking price.”

The aforementioned Paton runs the show as general manager in Denver, so he should have a transparent communication pipeline to Minnesota. A team might donate a 1st-Round pick for Jeudy, but the price seems too high, and a 2nd-Rounder feels more logical. There’s a small chance that Vikings bossman Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could trade a 2024 2nd-Round pick for the ultra-talented Jeudy. The strategy would alleviate the hit-and-miss aspect of drafting a youngster this April. Jeudy hasn’t taken off like his draft peer Jefferson, but the script could flip in a Kevin O’Connell offense.

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Otherwise, Sutton, 27, is intriguing, as well. His career started wonderfully in 2018 and 2019 — even earning a Pro Bowl nod in Year Two — but slowed down in the last three seasons, probably because of the Broncos utterly feeble quarterback play. If Jeudy’s true-blue asking price is a 2nd-Rounder, then Sutton’s would be a mid-to-late rounder. Trading mid-to-late draft capital for a prime-of-his-career Sutton is actually quite tempting.

The Vikings must do something — either a trade with the Broncos for Jeudy or Sutton, a free-agent acquisition of Odell Beckham, or the selection of Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State), Quentin Johnston (TCU), Zay Flowers (Boston College), or Jordan Addison (USC) in Round 1 of April’s draft.

If none of those avenues is doable, K.J. Osborn would presumably fill the Vikings WR2 shoes in September.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.