Vikings Rival Got a Little Richer on Wednesday

Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; A general view of a Detroit Lions fan during the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions live in the driver’s seat for NFC North projections in 2023, according to oddsmakers.

They’re expected to take first place, with the Minnesota Vikings winning eight or nine games in second.

Vikings Rival Got a Little Richer on Wednesday

And on Wednesday, Detroit ensured its wide receiver room had a contingency plan when it traded with the New York Jets for wideout Denzel Mims.

Rival Got a Little
Aug 28, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims (11) catches the ball before the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports. tweeted Wednesday evening, “Jets trading WR Denzel Mims, 2025 seventh-round pick to Lions for 2025 conditional sixth-round pick.”

Last summer. Mims’ agent Ron Slavin told the media before the season started, “We feel at this point a trade is our only option, since the Jets have repeatedly told us they will not release him. Joe Douglas has always done right by Denzel and we trust that he will do everything in his power to find another team where Denzel can be a contributor.”

Nov 6, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims (11) reacts after making a catch during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

But the Jets didn’t oblige, and Mims stuck around while tabulating 11 receptions for 186 yards and no touchdowns. He played in 11 games but was mostly a footnote in New York’s woeful 2022 offense.

Mims gets a fresh start in Detroit, though, a team considered a darling by national media and fans nationwide. Early in January, the Lions prevented the Green Bay Packers from reaching the postseason — after Detroit had been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention — capturing the ardor of football masses and cutting a blank check for folks to predict 2023 stardom for the club.

The Lions haven’t won a playoff game in 32 years.

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims (11) goes up for a catch over New England Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams (33) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports.

Freshly outfitted with a new playmaker in Mims, a 2nd-Round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Lions WR room now looks like this:

  • WR1: Amon-Ra St. Brown
  • WR2: Jameson Williams
  • WR3: Josh Reynolds
  • WR4: Denzel Mims
  • WR5: Kalif Raymond
  • WR6: Antoine Green
  • WR7: Maurice Alexander
  • WR8: Chase Cota
  • WR9: Trinity Benson
  • WR10: Tom Kennedy
  • WR11: Dylan Drummond

It’s also worth noting that Jameson Williams is suspended (six games) for violating the NFL’s gambling policy, so the Mims trade might be a transaction to hedge the bet on Detroit’s offense until his return, especially if the Lions believe they’re ready to contend in 2023.

New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims (11) rushes against the Las Vegas Raiders in the first half of a game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/ via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

The Vikings were briefly listed in the Mims rumor mill last season before acquiring Jalen Reagor from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Lions ranked fifth in passing DVOA last year. Mims will turn 26 in October.

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).

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