Popular Vikings Trade Theory Goes Radio Silent

Minnesota Vikings fans celebrate their win. The New York Giants lose to the Minnesota Vikings, 28-10, in NFL Week 5 on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com, North Jersey Record via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Until Tuesday, it was all over the place. Everywhere one turned, in fact.

Popular Vikings Trade Theory Goes Radio Silent

NFL media absolutely adored spending the first seven weeks of the offseason daydreaming about Minnesota Vikings trades involving Justin Jefferson. But after general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took the microphone at the 2024 NFL Combine, the trade theories went radio silent.

Trade Theory Goes
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson, 24, is in line to fetch one of the largest contract extensions in league history. And at the Combine, Adofo-Mensah hinted the deal was nearing fruition and that trading the phenom wide receiver wasn’t happening.

So, the trade-Jefferson fodder died real quick and probably shouldn’t have taken off like wildfire in the first place.

Impasse with Kirk
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

“We’ve said it, and we’ll continue to say it: we think he’s the best wide receiver in the league and should be compensated as such. We think he’s one of the best non-quarterbacks in the league, think he should be compensated as such,” Adofo-Mensah explained Tuesday about the state of play regarding Jefferson.

Until those declarations, outfits like ESPN, Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, FanSided, and several others went hog wild with the what-if of a Jefferson trade, plopping the Vikings playmaker in every scenario under the sun. Put bluntly, folks just couldn’t understand why a Jefferson extension was taking so long, utterly disregarding Jefferson’s peers from the same draft class without extensions, like CeeDee Lamb of the Dallas Cowboys or Tristan Wirfs from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Folks have very little patience in The Digital Age, so no Jefferson extension right away in January or February acted like a faux indicator he could be traded.

Jefferson Makes His
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

But Adofo-Mensah called those rumors false. He said trading Jefferson wasn’t an option. “That is not something that has ever crossed my mind,” Adofo-Mensah replied when a reporter asked about trading Jefferson as a possibility.

He added, “You got a blue player, a blue person. You try to keep as many of those as you can.” Adofo-Mensah, too, stated the Vikings and Jefferson were “incredibly close” to making the extension final last September.

The Vikings Playoff Probability Meter: Week 9
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

A Jefferson trade was never realistic, for what it’s worth. The franchise stated early this offseason that its “competitive rebuild” phase of roster construction was approaching completion, and trading the top roster asset is a measure used at the beginning of a rebuild. Trading Jefferson in the 2024 offseason would satisfy neither criteria: Minnesota wouldn’t be competitive without him, nor while wrapping up a rebuild as it stated seven weeks ago.

So, let the lesson be clear. Trade speculation is usually a clickbait-driven saga, especially when a football team’s leaders, in unison, say for over a year that the player is treasured and will return — as was the case with Jefferson.


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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