Vikings Fans Should Brace for Painful Reality

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The Minnesota Vikings are supposed to trade up the board on draft night and select a quarterback of the future.

Vikings Fans Should Brace for Painful Reality

Kirk Cousins left for the Atlanta Falcons on March 13th and isn’t coming back. And thanks to a trade on March 15th, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulled of a swap, 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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Fans perceived the trade as a precursor to another deal, one that will likely arrive on draft night, if it happens at all. While Minnesota will probably land its quarterback after Cousins, the painful reality is that the other team usually “wins the trade” when so many assets are involved.

The Examples

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In 2021, the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins finagled trade business, enabling the 49ers to draft mobile quarterback Trey Lance, who felt like the fix in The Bay at the time. All San Francisco needed was a better quarterback than Jimmy Garoppolo to give Kyle Shanahan the edge.

This was the deal:

Miami Received:
No. 12 Overall Pick (2021)
2022 1st-Rounder
2023 1st-Rounder
2022 3rd-Rounder

San Francisco Received:
No. 3 Overall Pick (2021)

And because the Vikings might be attempting to grab the same draft spot — the No. 3 pick overall — this is a decent comparison model.

Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks agreed on a blockbuster swap the following year, sending the then-thought-to-be productive version of Russell Wilson to the mountains.

This was the deal:

Denver Received:
Russell Wilson
2022 4th-Rounder

Seattle Received:
2022 1st-Rounder
2023 1st-Rounder
2022 2nd-Rounder
2023 2nd-Rounder
2022 5th-Rounder
Noah Fant
Shelby Harris
Drew Lock

Why the “Other” Teams Win the Trade

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From the 49ers, Miami extracted these players via trickle-down moves, among others:

Tyreek Hill
Jaylen Waddle
Bradley Chubb

Via the Broncos, Seattle parlayed the mighty trade into this:

Charles Cross
Devon Witherspoon
Boye Mafe
Derick Hall
Tyreke Smith
Noah Fant
Shelby Harris
Drew Lock

The other team generally comes out ahead because of sheer volume — there are more chances to “get it right” with 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 lottery ticket scratches than one. For Minnesota, if it selects Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy, for example, all hope will rest in one single human. The New England Patriots, a popular trade partner candidate, will probably have three 1st-Rounders [or more] to make good on the deal. That’s more heavily-weighted lottery tickets in the other team’s favor. It’s just a numbers game.

The “Who Cares” Angle

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Thankfully, Minnesota has a chance to get the would-be trade right — unlike San Francisco or Denver. If Maye or McCarthy — or whoever else it might land — turns out to become a decade-long starter, few will care about the price of the trade.

On the other hand, because the other team will be stacked with multiple darts to throw at the board, it will likely end up claiming victory in the trade. Sheer incompetence is the only possible derailing factor.

Vikings fans can boast the “who cares” attitude if Adofo-Mensah nails the quarterback selection. On the whole, though, the team receiving the king’s ransom is typically in the driver’s seat.

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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