The Vikings Had a Busy Day with Trades

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Minnesota Vikings fans affectionately called Rick Spielman “trader Rick” for years, but he was just an appetizer of what was coming with Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

The Vikings Had a Busy Day with Trades

The Vikings young bossman, who’s been on the job for 22 months, adores trading, and the NFL’s Halloween deadline was undoubtedly no different.

So, here’s what he did on Tuesday.

QB Joshua Dobbs Arrives from ARI

The Vikings are 4-4 through eight games, turning around their season after a repugnant 1-4 start but losing quarterback Kirk Cousins in the process. Cousins left Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field with a torn Achilles tendon and won’t return in 2023.

Ergo, Adofo-Mensah needed a contingency plan in case rookie signal-caller Jaren Hall stinks. And that guy’s name is Joshua Dobbs.

Had a Busy Day
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Minnesota swung a low-risk trade for Dobbs on Tuesday, sending a 6th-Round to the desert for Dobbs and a 7th-Round pick. 

Dobbs started all eight Cardinals games in 2023 before the club announced Monday he’d hit the bench in favor of Kyler Murray or Clayton Tune. In eight games, Arizona tallied a 1-7 record while Dobbs threw for 1,569 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. The Vikings new quarterback is also mobile, accounting for 32.3 rushing yards per game in 2023.

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Here’s where Dobbs ranks among all NFL QBs in 2023:

Dobbs won’t start at the Falcons this weekend — that’s Hall’s gig — but he’ll be waiting in the event Hall struggles.

Atl told, these are the Vikings QB options for the early section of the life-after-Cousins era:

  • Nick Mullens
  • Joshua Dobbs
  • Sean Mannion
  • Jaren Hall

LG Ezra Cleveland Shipped to JAX

A Vikings starter for about 3.5 years, Cleveland will hit free agency in four months. Adofo-Mensah must’ve known that Cleveland isn’t in the future plans, sending the lineman to the Jaguars for a 6th-Round pick.

7 Wild and Crazy
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It’s worth noting that the pick will be near the top of Round 6, for those craving details, as it previously belonged to the Carolina Panthers.

The Vikings are now in full Dalton Risner mode at left guard, a fruitful outlook because the purple offensive trenches have looked marvelous in the last two games — or since Risner’s insertion into the starting lineup. Cleveland hasn’t underperformed in 2023 — or anything close to it — but after seeing Risner in the lineup, the Vikings must believe he’s better than Ezra.

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Therefore, in the here and now — and perhaps the next several years, barring injury — this is the Vikings starting offensive line:

  • LT: Christian Darrisaw
  • LG: Dalton Risner
  • C: Garrett Bradbury
  • RG: Ed Ingram
  • RT: Brian O’Neill

Some will criticize the 6th-Round return with a “That’s it?” However, if Adofo-Mensah knew Cleveland likely wouldn’t return in 2024, and Risner was “the guy” as a starter from now on, what would Adofo-Mensah do as an alternative? Nothing? Let him walk on the open free agent market in March without any trade capital in return?

That’s what it would take to disparage the Cleveland trade, in good faith, anyway.

A 6th-Rounder was the best offer on the table, and Minnesota took it. It was either that or let Cleveland marinate on the bench for 2.5 months and unceremoniously leave in about 130 days.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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