Vikings’ Big Trade from 2023 Was Basically Free

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Remember the Minnesota Vikings big trade at the end of October? The one that brought quarterback Joshua Dobbs to the franchise …

Vikings’ Big Trade from 2023 Was Basically Free

It was essentially free.

2023 Was Basically
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Minnesota lost quarterback Kirk Cousins to a season-ending Achilles rupture two days prior, and in an attempt to keep the season afloat because QB2 Nick Mullens was also injured, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah fired off a low-risk trade with the Arizona Cardinals for Dobbs. Adofo-Mensah sent a 6th-Round draft pick to the desert in exchange for Dobbs and a conditional 7th-Rounder.

Dobbs needed to play 55% of the Vikings’ offensive snaps for the Cardinals to retain the 7th-Round selection in this year’s draft. That did not happen.

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CardinalsWire‘s Jess Root tweeted Tuesday, “It appears the Josh Dobbs did not play enough for the Vikings (he was benched for the final four games of the season) for the Cardinals to get their conditional 7th-round pick back.”

The grand total trade pricetag for Dobbs? A pick swap from Round 6 to 7 — also known as virtually nothing.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports.

After the Cousins injury on October 29th, Minnesota started rookie passer Jaren Hall for two drives at Atlanta before a concussion knocked him out of the lineup. Dobbs entered the mix and dazzled. He looked like an unabashed Pro Bowler for a day, only studying the Vikings’ playbook in broad strokes before insertion into the lineup. DobbsMania fully engulfed the state of Minnesota and the NFL on the whole. The veteran passer then helped the Vikings win the following game at home versus the New Orleans Saints, and Dobbs played a major role in the dub.

Then, the wheels fell off.

Dobbs failed to generate chemistry with Jordan Addison, didn’t excel throwing outside the numbers, and left Justin Jefferson out to dry with an errant pass at the Denver Broncos. Head coach Kevin O’Connell benched Dobbs mid-game the following Sunday at the Las Vegas Raiders, Nick Mullens joined the lineup, the Vikings beat Las Vegas, and Dobbs was never heard from again. That was also the Vikings’ final win of 2023.

Draft Analyst
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Before the Vikings-Cardinals trade, Arizona benched Dobbs in favor of Clayton Tune, who struggled mightily. The club also knew Kyler Murray’s return was on the horizon, rendering Dobbs expendable.

Like last year, Dobbs is scheduled to hit free agency in three weeks and will probably latch onto another team’s roster as a QB2. There’s a small chance that Minnesota re-ups with Dobbs as a QB3, but most Vikings loyalists believe that’s a longshot.

In the end, DobbsMania was basically free.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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