3 Outlandish Vikings Theories Swirl Simultaneously
The Minnesota Vikings’ offseason arrived a week and a half ago after a defeat at Ford Field to the Detroit Lions. Detroit would later win its first playoff game in three decades while the Vikings began searching for answers to remain afloat in the NFC North.
And with the offseason still in total infancy, wild theories regarding Minnesota’s future are already rampant.
3 Outlandish Vikings Theories Swirl Simultaneously
They’re relentless and likely won’t stop. The Vikings don’t play a regular season football game for 7.5 months, but folks have scripted outlandish what-ifs that would fundamentally rock the organization if they materialized.
So, for your reading pleasure, these are the three wild Vikings hypotheses circulating at the moment.
1. Trade Justin Jefferson
Probably an inevitable talking point because the offseason is so long, outfits like Bleacher Report and SKOR North have tossed the notion of trading Justin Jefferson into the digital stratosphere. The Vikings’ brass has remained steadfast for a year about its desire to extend Jefferson no matter what, but that hasn’t stopped the take merchants from running wild with trade theories.
Bleacher Report ignored that context, though, suggesting this week that Minnesota will trade Jefferson to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2024 1st-Round pick (4th overall), next year’s 1st-Rounder, and an additional 3rd-Rounder in 2024. BR’s Alex Kay explained, “Minnesota could instead look to capitalize on Jefferson’s immense trade value to jump-start the type of rebuilding process that the NFC North rival Detroit Lions recently underwent by trading away star quarterback Matthew Stafford.”
Jefferson will turn 25 in June and is considered by most to be the NFL’s best wide receiver.
“A franchise like the Arizona Cardinals could be highly interested if Jefferson becomes available. Arizona is loaded with draft capital this year, owning 13 selections overall, with six of them coming in the top 90 and two in the first round. Converting some of those picks into a player of Jefferson’s caliber would be a shrewd move for a franchise looking to contend again with a healthy Kyler Murray at the helm,” Kay continued.
For the sake of argument, the Vikings would use the 4th overall pick on a quarterback like Jayden Daniels (LSU) and lean heavily on Jordan Addison and a wide receiver to be named later in the future offense.
Kay concluded, “Given Arizona’s leading pass-catcher was tight end Trey McBride (81 receptions, 825 yards and three touchdowns) this past season, it’s obvious the squad needs to bring in an elite receiver to round out the offense. Drafting someone like Marvin Harrison Jr. could be an option at No. 4 overall, but using that pick to land a sure-thing in Jefferson via trade should be even more alluring.”
Trading Jefferson anywhere is unlikely to come to fruition as no Vikings leader nor Jefferson has hinted at any disgruntlement about the wideout’s next contract.
2. Sign Russell Wilson
Not satisfied with trade-Jefferson fodder? You’re hereby introduced to Russell Wilson as the Vikings’ next quarterback. That’s the theory, anyway.
Wilson and the Denver Broncos appear on the brink of full divorce after the veteran passer was benched down the stretch of the regular season in favor of Jarrett Stidham. Equipped with ample cashflow earned in Denver, Wilson could sign for cheap at his next destination — and ESPN believes that new NFL home could be the Vikings.
Indeed, Minnesota already has a quarterback dilemma. It must decide to re-up with Cousins for another year or two, although that option will likely cost $35-$45 million annually. The franchise could also say goodbye to Cousins altogether and start fresh with a rookie quarterback chosen in the 2024 NFL Draft.
But per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Vikings cannot be ruled out of the budding Wilson Sweepstakes. “League sources see several logical fits for Wilson, who could thrive in an offense that schemes clearly defined throws off play-action and the running game. Don’t be surprised if Wilson, should he become a free agent, is intrigued by Minnesota, assuming Kirk Cousins doesn’t re-sign with the Vikings (a big if),” Fowler wrote Tuesday.
Wilson tabulated 26 touchdown passes to 8 interceptions in 15 starts this season, while Denver accrued a 7-8 record on his watch.
Fowler added, “Kevin O’Connell comes from the Sean McVay passing tree that maximizes quarterback efficiency. Wilson would have plenty of weapons in a group that includes Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison.”
Merely because it’s a production downgrade — inside an offseason where Minnesota must improve — this idea feels silly.
3. Trade for Justin Fields
Finally, the Justin Fields rumblings from sportsbooks.
Chicago must decide to retain Justin Fields with a massive contract extension or trade him elsewhere while presumably selecting Caleb Williams (USC) or Drake Maye (North Carolina) with the draft’s top pick.
Have a gander at the theoretical odds if Fields ventures to a new team:
- Atlanta Falcons (+475)
- New England Patriots (+900)
- Las Vegas Raiders (+900)
- Denver Broncos (+1200)
- Minnesota Vikings (+1200) <—-
- Pittsburgh Steelers (+1200)
- Other/Stay with Bears (+150)
The trade price for Fields is debatable and to be determined. Realistically, the Bears will probably land a 2nd-Round pick and spare change for the Ohio State alumnus, although ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper claimed this week that Chicago could grab a 1st-Rounder for Fields.
Part of the thrill in swinging a trade for Fields, at least in theory, is the trade cost. Most believe he’s gettable for a non-1st-Round pick, so if it were the Vikings, they’d hypothetically acquire him for a 2nd-Roudner or so while keeping their organic No. 11 pick in April’s draft.
On the whole, Minnesota is more likely to retain Cousins, draft a rookie quarterback in Round 1 or 2, or both this offseason. It would also be bizarre for Chicago to willingly offload Fields to its division rival.
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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).