This Is the Simplest Vikings Trade for Rookie QB

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O'Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

The Minnesota Vikings are expected to execute a trade before or during the 2024 NFL Draft with 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)

This Is the Simplest Vikings Trade for Rookie QB

Why? Simple — Kirk Cousins left the franchise two weeks ago, joining the Atlanta Falcons for four years and $180 million, more than Minnesota was willing to spend. Then, two days after Cousins made it official with the Falcons, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulled off a sweet trade, sending two 2nd-Round picks to Houston for the Texans’ 2024 1st-Rounder (Pick No. 23) and a late-round pick swap.

Vikings Trade
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Most Vikings fans anxiously await another trade, careening Minnesota up the draftboard for a passer like Drake Maye (North Carolina) or J.J. McCarthy (Michigan).

Well, if the Vikings enjoy Maye and McCarthy, and LSU’s Jayden Daniels is off the table (probably to the Commanders at No. 2), the simplest way for Minnesota to grab its quarterback of the future is a trade with the Chargers at No. 5. Of course, this hypothesis operates under the pretense that USC’s Caleb Williams will fly off the board first to the Chicago Bears, which almost all pundits predict as of March 26th.

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The theory is this: the Vikings select the fourth quarterback off the board after a trade with the Chargers, with the assumption the Cardinals don’t grab a quarterback at No. 4 because they employ Kyler Murray.

A deal with the Chargers would enable the Vikings to draft Maye or McCarthy — possibly Daniels if his stock falls in the next 30 days — for two 1st-Round picks, which Minnesota already owns, thanks to the trade with Houston.

No more 1st-Round capital would be required, and the Vikings would start the Maye Era, McCarthy Era, or Daniels Era owners of next year’s 1st-Round selection — one they’ll probably want because the 2024 season is unlikely to result in a playoff run with Darnold + the rookie at QB1.

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New Chargers boss Joe Horitz said about incoming trade calls last week, “We’ll see how it goes. It’s still early, and the phone is not ringing yet because we’re still a month or so out.”

“But 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,” Horowitz explained about his team’s draft strategy.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Unless Horitz is leading teams on erroneously, the Chargers appear open for business. The next step for Minnesota would be boxing out any other quarterback-needy club like the New York Giants or Denver Broncos, for example, in the quest for the No. 5 pick.

In a way, because the Vikings already own the two 1st-Rounders, trading with the Chargers and obtaining Maye, McCarthy, or Daniels would almost feel “free” after fans have spent weeks staring at trade proposals involving three 1st-Round picks (and sometimes more).

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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