The Caveat, The Context, & The Vikings Rumors that are Running Wild

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Right now, the Vikings’ QB competition consists of three candidates: the recently-signed Sam Darnold, the no-fear Nick Mullens, and the soon-to-be sophomore Jaren Hall. Per Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the trio offers enough to not feel boxed into drafting a QB.

The Vikings rumors, though, are proceeding at a blistering pace. After all, Adofo-Mensah just dropped a stunning deal on the masses. Tom Pelissero offered the news: “Draft trade! The #Vikings have acquired the #Texans’ first-round pick (No. 23 overall) for a package that includes second-rounders this year and next, sources tell me and @RapSheet. Minnesota gets: No. 23 No. 232. Houston gets: No. 42 No. 188 2nd-rounder in ‘25.” The team’s social media has since confirmed the agreement.

The Vikings Rumors are Running Wild After the Stunning Trade

Chad Graff is uniquely-qualified to comment on the situation that’s unfolding.

Previously, Graff was the Vikings’ beat writer for The Athletic. More recently, he has taken on the same role but with the New England Patriots. The football writer jumped into the social media speculation, offering a thought or two about what Minnesota’s trade could mean for New England and the draft more broadly.

Every Draft Pick Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Has Played a Role in Making
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sport.

Graff sees the possibility of Minnesota partnering their pair of picks alongside a future 1st to jump into the 3rd draft slot: “The trade possibility I keep thinking about: Minnesota offers No. 11 and 23 this year plus next year’s first-round pick for No. 3. What do the Patriots say? That might be enough to move them from their plan of a QB at No. 3.”

Dane Brugler, the draft prospects wizard at The Athletic, offered his take on the situation: “If the Patriots love Maye/Daniels, that’s the pick at No. 3. But these QBs aren’t universally loved by every team (we don’t know how NE feels). Vikings at least check in and see if NE willing to consider.”

Nov 11, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) signals the Tar Heels will be going for a two point conversion after scoring a touchdown in the second overtime at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert jumped into the speculation, offering his take: “Something to consider on this morning’s trade: Do the Vikings think they have a chance to trade into the top 3? Or are they building ammo to ensure they win any competition that emerges for something in the No. 4-6 range?”

Todd McShay, a veteran analyst, thinks that the trade must have been preceded by some legwork to already understand what jumping up the draft board would require: “The Vikings don’t make this move unless they’ve already had serious discussions with a specific team re: what it will take to move up for the QB they desire (presumably not named Caleb or Jayden). So is it NE at 3 (for Maye)? Or a team picking a couple/few spots down (for JJ)?”

To clarify, McShay is talking about Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and J.J. McCarthy. These four are widely considered to be the top passers in the 2024 NFL Draft (with Bo Nix and Michael Penix presumably being next in line).

The opinions from Graff, Brugler, Seifert, and McShay all have merit and should be taken seriously. More important than all of them, though, is the opinion from the Vikings’ GM. Consider what Adofo-Mensah had to say when directly responding to whether he feels compelled to snatch a quarterback in the NFL Draft:

Per the team’s top decision maker, Minnesota could go either way on a quarterback. There are two main paths toward contention in the NFL, as the most recent Super Bowl demonstrates. Patrick Mahomes, a franchise quarterback, represents one possible path. And then there’s the San Francisco example, a team that built an absolutely loaded roster to support Brock Purdy.

Dec 3, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) walks off the field after win against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Something that has been consistent about Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s time at the helm is that he doesn’t like being boxed in. He has a vision, yes, but he understands that the future is uncertain (especially in the NFL). The young executive responds by moving his team into a position where they can quickly pivot.

Paul Allen responded to the trade news in a clip on social media. Allen notes that Minnesota now has the “flexibility” to move around the draft board in April. Folks, that’s really what it comes down to. “What does Kwesi have up his sleeve?” Allen asks, “One thing’s for sure, he has flexibility with the 2024 Draft.”

In the upcoming draft, the Vikings have a better shot at making a move for their QB of the future. Starting negotiations with a pair of opening-round selections is an excellent position to be in. And then having the willingness to dip into next season’s draft capital means the offer can be made even more enticing.

Oct 10, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles with the ball during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The caveat is simply that we don’t actually know what comes next. Kirk Cousins is gone and Sam Darnold is an option to be the replacement. Minnesota has added another 1st in 2024, an asset that can be used to pull off another trade or even to stick and pick (as unlikely as that appears at the present moment).

But while we, like the Vikings, look ahead to an uncertain future, one thing is certain: the Minnesota Vikings are the furthest thing from being dull.

Stay tuned.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.