Vikings Nopedy Nopes: Malik Nabers — Again, Risner vs. Brandel, JJets Trade

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

A weekend publication from VikingsTerritory, we present to you: the Vikings Nopedy Nopes of the week.

Vikings Nopedy Nopes: Malik Nabers — Again, Risner vs. Brandel, JJets Trade

The nopedy nopes are weekly Minnesota Vikings-themed items that we’re not buying. It’s a spin-off of our rumor mill, and we hope you enjoy. Here is the 13th batch of Vikings nopedy nopes in the series’ history.

The Nopedy Nope: Malik Nabers was a whisker away from becoming a Viking during the draft, which would’ve resulted in a Justin Jefferson trade.

Vikings Nopedy Nopes
East Rutherford, NJ — May 10, 2024 — The number one draft pick for the Giants is wide receiver M. Nabers as the NY Giants hold their Rookie Camp and introduce their new draft picks. © Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

According to the Pioneer Press — which may be parroting draft reporting from Pro Football Focus — Minnesota was in the mix for Malik Nabers, who ultimately landed with the New York Giants.

“Pssst. There was buzz at draft time that the Vikings wanted to move from No. 11 to No. 5, not to pick a quarterback but to get LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers, who was picked No. 6 by the Giants. Had that trade occurred, Jefferson would have been traded and Nabers would have been the No. 1 receiver,” Charley Walters wrote last weekend.

This reopened a hypothesis presented by Mike Florio around draft time.

Soon after the Walters tidbit, ESPN smacked down the idea. “This rumor has made the rounds, and it’s admittedly juicy, but the Vikings did not try last month to trade up and draft WR Malik Nabers. Great player, but the Vikings have a better one in Justin Jefferson. Still working to extend Jefferson and no interest in trading him,” Seifert tweeted Tuesday, pouring cold water on the bizarre trade gossip.

We do not believe the Vikings seriously pondered trading their best player during a draft where they needed a franchise quarterback. Attempting to trade for Nabers, draft J.J. McCarthy, and also grab EDGE rusher Dallas Turner would’ve been an example of getting too cute.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: Blake Brandel could still start for the Vikings at LG, and Dalton Risner would just marinate on the bench after losing a summer camp battle.

vikings
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

Dalton Risner rejoined Minnesota this week on a one-year contract after months of folks wondering if he’d be back in the purple saddle. The answer is yes.

Then, The Athletic’s Alec Lewis tweeted after Risner’s arrival this week, “A couple things on the Dalton Risner signing … I don’t believe the Blake Brandel belief to be overstated; the staff does love him, but Risner’s experience is obviously notable. The full terms of the deal will be interesting, and they’ll likely indicate why the team waited.”

A few Vikings-themed media outlets also advanced the “not so fast” theory on Risner as the starting LG, although subtly.

If Brandel has a camp battle against anyone, it will probably be right guard Ed Ingram. We don’t buy that Risner returned to the Vikings as Blake Brandel’s backup.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: Bleacher Report posted a humongous article with Justin Jefferson trade packages, and a swap with another team is therefore realistic.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

BR posted this piece a few days ago containing six specific trade proposals for Jefferson, evidently his ticket(s) out of Minnesota.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell noted a couple of weeks ago about Jefferson’s impending extension, “I know everything’s gonna get worked out there. Justin knows the love and admiration that I have for him. He knows he’s such a big part of what we do around here. That’s on the field and off the field. Bringing such a great energy to our building every single day.”

Furthermore, Adofo-Mensah also hinted after April’s draft that an extension was close. He said, “You know that friend that has a birthday that takes the month? I think Justin would deserve his whole month if we signed a contract to celebrate it. We’re excited to work towards it. We’re going to keep going. You can’t have all these plans when you talk about all these visions and not talk about the king linchpin, so we’re going to keep working toward that end goal.”

Any Jefferson trade theory, no matter how specific, is merely speculative and fodder for the what-if. He won’t be traded.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.


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 MIN obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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