Baker Mayfield Was Cheaper Than These Recent Vikings Trade Pieces

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. © George Walker IV / Tennessean.com, Nashville Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Many of you reading this are probably well aware from our own coverage as well as nationwide that Baker Mayfield was traded to the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday. The price tag for Mayfield was apparently very cheap as well since Cleveland was only able to get a fifth-round pick. In addition, Carolina will only pay $5 million of Mayfield’s $15 million contract. Cleveland will pay the remaining $10 million to their former QB.

With that in mind, and the fact that the Minnesota Vikings are still three weeks from the start of training camp, I thought it would be a fun (and somewhat painful) exercise to go through some recent Vikings trades. Here are four trade pieces that the Minnesota Vikings have acquired or sent away that cost more draft capital than Baker Mayfield did on July 6th, 2022.

Chris Herndon

The TE2 that wasn’t. When this trade happened, I was admittedly excited for Chris Herndon to get a shot with the Minnesota Vikings. The young tight end had his early career derailed by a DUI, injury to his hamstring, and some poor QB play in New York, but an effective conclusion to the 2020 season had me hopeful.

Apparently, the Vikings were also encouraged by Herndon’s as they were willing to trade a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Jets for Herndon and a sixth-round pick. That sixth-round pick turned into Vederian Lowe, so we shall see what type of role the young tackle will have for Minnesota.

Needless to say, the Herndon trade never really worked out. The tight end was targeted just seven times all season despite appearing in 15 games. He caught four of those passes for 40 yards and a touchdown and was given the lowest grade of his career by PFF: 52.6.

Yannick Ngakoue (Twice)

Yannick Ngakoue was Minnesota’s original attempt to give Danielle Hunter a dynamic EDGE rushing partner for life post-Everson Griffen. It was a clear need in the front office’s eyes as Minnesota gave up a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 fifth-round pick in order to get Ngakoue. He played just six games in Minnesota.

The most unfortunate part about Ngakoue’s short tenure with the Vikings is that it probably would have worked if Hunter hadn’t hurt his neck and missed the entire 2020 season. Instead, Ngakoue was dealt once again to Baltimore. In exchange, Minnesota got a 2021 third-rounder, which turned into Patrick Jones, and a 2022 fifth-rounder. Once again, Ngakoue’s tenure was short as he started just three games for the Ravens before leaving for Las Vegas in free agency.

Ngakoue still ended the 2020 season leading the Minnesota Vikings in sacks with a grand total of five.

Kaare Vedvik

Yes, in just one of many head scratching kicker moves the Vikings have made in recent years, Minnesota gave up a fifth-round pick to grab a kicker. This package isn’t more expensive than what Carolina gave up Mayfield, but considering the fact that Kaare Vedvik never played a snap for Minnesota, it certainly feels that way.

Vedvik signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a UDFA in 2018, but he was placed on the non-football injury/reserve list after being a victim of assault. He came back in 2019, made all four field goals in the preseason opener, and almost immediately afterwards the Vikings put forth their trade package to acquire the kicker. He ultimately lost the kicking battle to veteran Dan Bailey.

Since that time, Vedvik’s only NFL appearance came in the 2019 season opener with the New York Jets where he missed a field goal and an extra point in a 17-16 loss. He was waived in the coming days. Currently, Vedvik is a kicker in the CFL.