Vikings May Have “Verbal Handshake” in Play

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Unless everyone has it wrong — Minnesota Vikings fans, NFL media, and websites like this one — the purple team will draft a quarterback of the future in 30 days.

Vikings May Have “Verbal Handshake” in Play

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on April 25th, and the Vikings are equipped with two 1st-Rounders. Minnesota’s general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, pulled off a splashy trade 11 days ago, grabbing an additional 1st-Round pick from the Houston Texans while offloading two 2nd-Rounders in the deal, plus a late-round pick swap. 

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Now, most believe he’ll trade up again, probably for a quarterback prospect like Drake Maye (North Carolina) or J.J. McCarthy (Michigan). And according to KFAN’s Paul Allen, Adofo-Mensah may already have a verbal handshake agreement in place with an unknown team.

Allen said right after Minnesota executed the trade with Houston, “There, generally speaking, is a handshake that you have with somebody at 3, 4, or 5 … you have a handshake with somebody somewhere.”

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Realistically, that handshake could be brokered with one of four teams: the Washington Commanders (Pick No. 2), the New England Patriots (Pick No. 3), the Arizona Cardinals (Pick No. 4), or the Los Angeles Chargers (Pick No. 5). Almost weirdly, all general managers and some head coaches from those teams said last weekend that they’re open for business regarding draft pick trades.

Commanders head coach Dan Quinn said on NFL Network, “I would anticipate (GM Adam Peters) fielding these calls as it goes through, and usually it’s not necessarily later than No. 6 or 7, but those people who are usually in the top four or five, there’s somebody that somebody has targeted, and I think it’s mostly like ‘Well, I’ve got to take a shot!'”

Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo told the Boston Globe, “I know everyone likes to think they have the special formula to picking players. But honestly, the guaranteed way to win is to accumulate more picks. So if we don’t feel convicted (about whom to draft) at No. 3, we are willing to do that, as well.”

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Mayo continued, “If we take a quarterback at three, that means we are (convinced) that this player is really the future of this organization. … Going back to your point that we said earlier, there are multiple pieces on this team that we want to fill. So, if you can gather more picks, that definitely helps you out. I can put more chips on the table.”

Asked by reporters if he’d be willing to trade down from Arizona’s No. 4 spot, general manager Monti Ossenfort didn’t hold back. “There will be a big neon sign that says ‘open.’ I don’t like it blinking — that kind of messes with my eyes — but we’ll always have the conversation. We may not get to the point where the deal makes sense, whether it’s at 4 or anywhere we’re picking, but we’re always going to have the conversation,” the executive replied.

New Charger boss Joe Horitz said, “I’ve had teams ask me and are gauging my interest. Certainly, as I said before, I’m open to all options when it comes to the draft. I’m not locked into any one spot — forwards, backwards, staying right there.”

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Therefore, if Allen’s musings from the aftermath of the Texans trade were correct, Adofo-Mensah must have a tentative agreement with one of the organizations above.

If Minnesota does climb into the Top 10 for a quarterback selection, it’ll be the club’s first time doing so in franchise history. Despite 17 opportunities, the club has never used Top 10 draft capital on a quarterback.

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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