Commanders’ Trade Is Good News for Vikings

Former Vikings QB Benched in Washington
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The Washington Commanders aren’t really keeping their plans a secret, and the Minnesota Vikings should pay attention.

Commanders’ Trade Is Good News for Vikings

Washington has conducted two moves this week, including a noteworthy trade Thursday, that tipped their hand about quarterback planning. The franchise sent Sam Howell to the Seattle Seahawks and signed free agent Marcus Mariota, too.

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on Thursday, “Another QB trade: Commanders are sending last year’s starter Sam Howell to the Seahawks in a pick swap, per sources. Trade: Seahawks receive Howell, a fourth-round pick (No. 102), a sixth (No. 179). Commanders receive a third (No. 78) and a fifth (No. 152).”

And on Tuesday, he tweeted, “Former Eagles QB Marcus Mariota is signing with the Washington Commanders on a 1-year deal with a base value of $6 million and upside to $10 million, per source.”

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So, that’s Howell out — a man just drafted two years ago — and Mariota in, two blatant hints that the Commanders plan to use their second overall pick to draft LSU’s Jayden Daniels. Washington hired Dan Quinn as head coach this offseason, along with Kliff Kingsbury at offensive coordinator. Kingsbury’s modus operandi is working with quarterbacks who thrive off-script — like Daniels — and sportsbooks have correspondingly listed Daniels as the favorite to land in Washington.

Kingsbury worked with Kyler Murray in Arizona and Caleb Williams at USC. Daniels feels like more of the same. On top of the Kingsbury-Daniels theory, Washington signed oodles of free agents this week, sculpting a roster it believes will help the next quarterback succeed.

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The question becomes: how is this good for the Vikings? Well, it defines the draftboard and shoves North Carolina’s Drake Maye to the third draft spot or later. Before the Commanders’ quarterback moves, genuine mystery surrounded their draft plan. Selecting Daniels now feels obvious. The stakes are clear. Maye will likely fall to No. 3 or lower, and Minnesota must trade into the New England Patriots spot at No. 3 or hope for Maye’s further tumble.

Moreover, the rumor mill has suggested that New England doesn’t love Maye, meaning a trade with the Vikings or another team is realistic. Based on Maye’s skillset, he seems like the obvious fit for Kevin O’Connell’s offense. For nearly a year, too, he was theorized as the second overall pick after USC’s Caleb Williams. That draft prognosis has changed.

Listed as Contestant
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Overall, according to Vegas odds, Vikings fans can assume, in good faith, that Daniels will go to Washington. Maye is gettable at pick No. 3. The Commanders traded last year’s QB1. And Washington signed Mariota, whose play style is vaguely similar to Daniels.

The Vikings’ path to Drake Maye is clearer than ever.

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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