Who Says No? Editors from VT & P/PTSD Weigh-In on 3 Vikings Trade Scenarios

Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo‐Mensah speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Admittedly, the “Who Says No?” game is better suited for the NHL, but let’s roll with it here.

Essentially, the game comes down to making an educated guess on behalf of the listed teams. A hypothetical trade scenario gets tossed out and someone needs to determine which of the teams says no to the trade proposal. In some instances, though, the trade looks beneficial for both sides, so the less-travelled path is to pick neither side by insisting that the hypothetical trade would be accepted all around.

Minnesota is general managed by someone who loves to trade. A bit more than two years on the job has led to nineteen trades for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Any chance he pushes that number well into the twenties before the 2024 regular season arrives? No doubt, he’ll have trade options to consider in the coming months.

There are a trio of trades listed below. In each instance, I looked at past precedents to help gauge a relatively fair price. I then lobbed the scenarios over to Josh Frey — managing editor of PurplePTSD — and Dustin Baker — managing editor of Vikings Territory — to get their two cents. There’s one trade to bring someone in, one trade involving all draft picks, and then a final trade sending someone out. Read on to see how it plays out according to the editors for the sites.

Who Says No?
Editors from VT & P/PTSD Weigh-In on 3 Vikings Trade Scenarios

Trade Proposal #1 – Completing the NFC North Bingo Card

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) is pursued by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) in the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Particulars: 

  • Bears Trade: Justin Fields, QB
  • Vikings Trade: No. 42 (2024) & No. 179 (2024)

The Precedent: 

  • Joshua Dobbs & a 7th for a 6th (2023) 
  • Trey Lance for a 4th (2023) 
  • Aaron Rodgers, a 1st, & a 5th for a 1st, a 2nd, a 2nd, & a 6th (2023)

The Pitch: 

  • Justin Fields will turn 25 on March 5th. 
  • He has struggled with the Bears at various points but the coaching and roster have left a little to be desired. 
  • He cleared 1,000 rushing yards in 2022 and finished 9th overall in MVP voting. 
  • He’s continuing to improve. 
  • Kwesi Adofo-Mensah likes trading for young, highly-picked players who are still on their rookie deals (Blacklock, Reagor, Hockenson, Akers). 

Dustin Baker: I would enjoy the upside of this idea if not for Fields’ eventual asking price. The goal would be for Field to thrive with Kevin O’Connell’s tutelage, right? Well, if he did, he’ll turn around and ask for $45 million per year next offseason, and the Vikings are about to embark on an era with a rookie quarterback, offsetting Justin Jefferson’s soon-to-be massive payday. So, I don’t think Minnesota can do both: pay Jefferson and Fields. Sooner or later, Cousins has to depart, and a quasi-affordable rookie passer should be the way for 4-5 years. Vikings say no.

Josh Frey: This may be a hot take, but personally, I have a rather positive view on Justin Fields. Is he a player that can carry a franchise Joe Burrow-esque into Super Bowl contention? No, absolutely not. Is he a solid, young player with an intriguing set of skills? Absolutely. He won’t necessarily need to be that superstar player in Minnesota either, assuming the Vikings keep their current weapons around him. 

Chicago, on the other hand, does need that superstar QB if for no other reason than to appease a fanbase that has longed for stability at the position. The Bears need to move on from Fields while they still can get a decent price for him, and the Vikings have an opportunity to do a one-year test run with the 25-year-old QB without giving up a first-round pick. Both sides agree here.

Trade Proposal #2 – Moving Heaven and Earth to Get to 3rd Overall 

Reaction to Vikings Win over Patriots
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell shake hands after the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Particulars: 

  • Patriots Trade: No. 3 (2024) 
  • Vikings Trade: No. 11 (2024), No. 42 (2024), No. 166 (2024), and a 1st (2025)

The Precedent: 

  • No. 1 (2023) for No. 9 (2023), No. 61 (2023), No. 1 (2024), a 2nd (2025), and D.J. Moore 
  • No. 3 (2021) for No. 12 (2021), No. 29 (2022), No. 102 (2022), and No. 29 (2023).
  • No. 3 (2018) for No. 6 (2018), No. 37 (2018), No. 49 (2018), and No. 34 (2019). 

The Pitch: 

  • At some point, Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah are going to snag a young passer. 
  • Kirk Cousins will be 36 and has an achy Achilles, Nick Mullens tosses turnovers like a pizza restaurant tosses dough, and Jaren Hall was picked to be a long-term backup. 
  • Onboarding a rookie-contract QB means emulating how other NFC juggernauts found success (49ers, Eagles).
  • The above listed trades – Bryce Young in 2023, Trey Lance in 2021, Sam Darnold in 2018 – may have led to some buyer’s remorse. 

Dustin Baker: Sign me up. Both sides say yes. This is the way to get Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. The Vikings have never drafted a quarterback with Top 10 capital. Now is the time. Try something new. Nothing else has worked to the tune of a Super Bowl. If Maye or Daniels turn out to be fantastic, nobody will care how much the trade costed in hindsight. Should the guy stink, the draft picks will return by the time that realization is learned. Let’s do it. Do it now. 

Josh Frey: For a team to move out of the top three picks, it is going to take a massive haul, especially when a trade also takes them outside of the top 10 selections. The three trades above illustrate that. There should be a very large market for this third overall pick considering the talent at the QB position, and the Patriots have a multitude of needs to fill on their roster. They also hold all the leverage here as they could very easily just stay put and draft their own QB, an offensive tackle like Joe Alt, or WR Marvin Harrison Jr. and likely end up being happy with any of those options. New England says no, holding out for an additional first rounder.

Trade Proposal #3 – Says it Ain’t So, Mr. Jefferson 

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) and quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and tight end Tyler Conklin (83) react against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Particulars:

  • Titans Trade: No. 7 (2024), No. 38 (2024), No. 184 (2024), and a 1st (2025)
  • Vikings Trade: Justin Jefferson, WR

The Precedent: 

  • Calvin Ridley for a conditional 3rd and a 5th (2022)
  • Chase Claypool for a 2nd (2022)
  • Kadarius Toney for a 3rd and 6th (2022)

The Pitch: 

  • Titans GM Ran Carthon and Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah are friends. In a general sense, a trade between the pair isn’t difficult to foresee. 
  • Tennessee is likely moving on from Derrick Henry and rallying around Will Levis. Does bringing in the NFL’s WR1 fit with that trajectory? 
  • Vikings leapfrog Atlanta, increasing their shot at landing a tumbling QB. 
  • Shipping out Jefferson means saving major money. But, crucially, it also means fully embracing a rebuild. 

Dustin Baker: Absolutely not. I am done with the Vikings trading big-name WRs. Even though the Stefon Diggs trade worked, that was the exception to the rule. Jefferson is much bigger than on-the-field receptions and touchdowns; he’s singlehandedly creating a new generation of Vikings fans. For me, he’s untouchable on the trade market. Build around him. Vikings say no.

Josh Frey: The Vikings currently employ one of the best football players on the planet in Justin Jefferson. There aren’t too many NFL teams that can say that. A pair of first-round picks and an early second rounder certainly could help Minnesota down the line, but Jefferson is a sure thing right now. Particularly if Minnesota is going to look to add a young QB in the next year or two, it makes very little sense to part ways with Jefferson unless he truly wants out (all signs suggest he doesn’t). He will play an integral part in ensuring that young QB has a smooth transition to the NFL. As a result, the Vikings say no to this trade.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference, Tankathon, and Spotrac helped with this piece.

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.