Vikings Nopedy Nopes: The Truth about a Justin Jefferson Trade, Tampering Verdict, Sean Payton

The Vikings Top Players from Best to Worst After Week 16
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A weekend publication from VikingsTerritory, we present to you: the Vikings Nopedy Nopes of the week.

Vikings Nopedy Nopes: The Truth about a Justin Jefferson Trade, Tampering Verdict, Sean Payton

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 14th batch of Vikings nopedy nopes in the series’ history.

The Nopedy Nope: The Vikings explored trading Justin Jefferson this offseason.

Vikings Nopedy Nopes
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This rumor circulated all over the place before and after the 2024 NFL Draft. Nationally-themed NFL websites, podcasts, and pundits totally ran wild with trade-Jefferson rumors.

But Jefferson nailed down his next contract about two weeks ago, inking a four-year, $140 million deal and making the phenom playmaker the richest non-quarterback in NFL history while solidifying his spot on Minnesota’s roster through the end of the 2028 season. His new agreement attaches him to the Vikings in exact alignment with rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy. Both have contracts set to expire after 2028.

And in the deal’s aftermath, head coach Kevin O’Connell — in his upbeat manner — blasted Jefferson-themed trade fodder from the last few months as unrealistic and not applicable.

“When you hear some things, a lot of things kind of come and go, and you chalk it up to what they are,” O’Connell explained last week. “But when there’s things that are just so far outside the realm of what’s actually happening and taking place, you find yourself wanting to come out and say, which I will, unequivocally, we never, ever one time discussed internally amongst the leadership [trading Jefferson].”

O’Connell added, “Some people have sources far and wide, but I would say amongst the leadership, amongst the decision makers, the people that are directly involved with the situation, there really was not one time that [a trade] was ever discussed, game planned, contingency planned.”

Minnesota would never trade Jefferson, especially not during an offseason when it just drafted its quarterback of the future.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: Minnesota could’ve received goodies because the Atlanta Falcons tampered with Kirk Cousins.

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Before the 2024 NFL Draft, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote about the Vikings’ angle in the tampering ordeal: “Maybe the Vikings are quietly holding out hope that the end result of the investigation regarding Atlanta’s blatant tampering with Cousins (and it was blatant, frankly) will result in a flip-flop of picks No. 8 and No. 11. (There’s no specific reason to think that will happen, but it’s not impossible that the league would select this sanction — and announce it literally five minutes before the draft starts.)”

Fast forward to this week, and the NFL finally rendered a tampering verdict — Atlanta lost a 5th-Round pick and 250,000 bucks.

The “other team” seldom receives perks from tampering penalties, and theories suggesting the Vikings could’ve gained draft picks were simply dumb and starry-eyed.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: Sean Payton attempted to drive up the price of the Vikings’ trade with the New York Jets during the draft.

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Payton excitedly told media members on the first night of the draft. “I was actively involved in trying to pretend we were moving forward. It’s this time of the year, and it’s difficult … Man, you just don’t want others to know our focal point.” 

This was false. Payton made it up.

Thor Nystrom tweeted this week, “The Rams called the Jets and Vikings about moving up — ostensibly to hop the Raiders for Bowers — but KOC told McVay the Vikes were holding for their guy. Turns out Minny was the Rams’ competition for NYJ’s 1.10 pick. Minnesota’s target? JJ McCarthy.”

Here’s the tweet and video:

It was the Rams jostling with the Vikings — not the Broncos, per Payton’s declaration.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

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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 MIN 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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