Ex-Vikings GM Rick Spielman Is up to His Old Shenanigans

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Skol Nation has less than three weeks to wait for the NFL draft, one of the most critical times in the franchise’s history. The Minnesota Vikings are in the market for a quarterback and are widely expected to trade up and secure one of the top passers in this year’s class following Kirk Cousins’ departure after six seasons.

Ex-Vikings GM Rick Spielman Is up to His Old Shenanigans

Ex-Vikings GM Rick Spielman is Up to His Old Shenanigans
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That new signal-caller will decide the Vikings’ fate for years to come. If he is good, the team will be an annual playoff contender, but early draft picks will be a yearly occurrence if he is not.

Jayden Daniels is in the mix to be Minnesota’s next captain, although he is the favorite to be picked second overall by Washington. North Carolina’s Drake Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy are more likely targets.

Those guys, though, require a trade-up into the first five picks of the draft, so neither Denver nor Las Vegas can jump the Vikings. The Giants pick sixth overall and could also desire a successor for Daniel Jones. A trade into that range will cost the Vikes both first-rounders in 2024 and likely some additional assets.

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General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will make the call in his third draft in charge of the organization. His predecessor, Rick Spielman, a regular contributor to the website The 33rd Team, talked with NFL analyst Charles Davis about some trade scenarios.

Davis and Spielman floated around specific trade offers. Spielman (as Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort) demanded Minnesota’s picks 11 and 23 as next year’s top pick to get up to the fourth spot in the draft. However, he added that Justin Jefferson could be exchanged for one of those picks.

If you are really interested in coming up for your quarterback, Minnesota Vikings, I will take the two ones for you to get up there, and I have to have a one next year because you don’t have a two this year. So I’m gonna get the one next year but I’m willing to forfeit that for Justin Jefferson.

Rick Spielman

Trading Justin Jefferson will be a topic for as long as he is in the final year of his contract. The Vikings have failed to meet their star’s demands, and until that is resolved, his theoretical deal will be one of the talkers in the league’s media.

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Regardless, all parties involved, Minnesota and the player, have always stressed how much they desire a continued relationship. He wants to be a Viking, and the Vikings want him to be a Viking, so where is the problem?

Jefferson surely wants to be the top-paid wideout in the league. Tyreek Hill currently holds that spot at $30 million per season. And quite frankly, he deserves to be the top-compensated receiver. His track record shows four 1,000-yard seasons. He is breaking that mark even when he only suits up for ten games. In addition to those absurd total numbers, including 5,899 yards in 60 games, he is the all-time leader for receiving yards per game.

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Trading Jefferson as part of a deal to get the new passer is absurd because Jefferson’s presence is a large reason why the Vikings are a desirable spot for any young QB. The surroundings for a rookie QB are everything, and he needs a good supporting cast to flourish.

The next absurd aspect is that Spielman mentioned how a first-rounder in 2025 is worth a second-round pick this year but then compares that pick to Jefferson. Undoubtedly, the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year, the face of the franchise, is worth much more than that (theoretical) second-round pick.

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Trading away star receivers isn’t anything new in Minnesota’s history, but trading away a 24-year-old Jefferson would be unforgivable, even if it lands the team a new franchise QB. The front office around Adofo-Mensah would be a failure.

The Vikings have enough draft capital to get a deal done without shipping away the former LSU standout if one other franchise is willing to trade down.

All those speculations will be over on April 25.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt