Broncos Trade May Help the Vikings

JJ McCarthy
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NFL Draft week arrived at midnight Monday, and about 13 hours later, the first significant trade arrived.

Broncos Trade May Help the Vikings

The New York Jets, alas, offloaded maligned quarterback Zach Wilson, who’s on his way to Denver for a marriage with Sean Payton’s Broncos.

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NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted, “Former Jets starting QB and No. 2 pick Zach Wilson is on the move. Sources say he’s being traded to the Broncos, hoping for a fresh start. The deal includes a late-round pick swap (6th for a 7th) and NYJ will pay some of Wilson’s roughly $5.5M salary.”

Soon after, ESPN’s Adam Schefter added context to the deal: “Compensation update on Zach Wilson trade: Jets and Broncos are splitting the $5.5 million that is due Wilson this season: Jets are paying $2.75 million and the Broncos are paying $2.75 million.”

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This is noteworthy for the Minnesota Vikings because it may cancel a trade competitor from the mix. Heading into Monday, the Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, and perhaps New York Giants were considered trade foes for Minnesota, theorized as teams that could get in the way of a trade up the draftboard on Thursday night. If Denver rolls with Wilson, current QB1 Jarrett Stidham, and a player like Bo Nix or Spencer Rattler, well, the Broncos need not trade for Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy, for example.

Moreover, Denver is just now recovering from the failed Russell Wilson trade in 2021, when it sent a king’s ransom to the Seattle Seahawks. It may not have the piggybank to fire off another splashy trade this soon. The Broncos could’ve realized this and settled on the Wilson compromise as a bet hedge.

Former Vikings Starter Released by Broncos
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KFAN’s Paul Allen mentioned the Denver Broncos as a possible J.J. McCarthy suitor in February. Allen said of the Broncos’ ardor for McCarthy, “There is just a little bit of steam that is beginning to emerge locally that Sean Payton loves J.J. McCarthy … [Payton] covets the next Drew Brees. So just keep that in mind, ya know, when you’re thinking 11.”

“If you’re thinking J.J. McCarthy at 11 just know behind you have the desperate [Payton] who basically will beg, borrow, and steal to get exactly what he wants from this draft from a QB standpoint. A pretty reliable individual informed me over the weekend that Payton is quite enamored with J.J. McCarthy,” Allen added.

While it’s still possible for Denver to do everything — trade for Wilson, trade up the board, and draft McCarthy — it might be a little strange to pursue that many fixes. We shall see.

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From the Vikings’ standpoint, it could be down the Raiders and Giants as would-be trade competitors.

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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