NFL Rumors: One team clearly in the mix to trade up for QB

The Minnesota Vikings are in the market looking to trade up for a quarterback.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings are running out of time to sign Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal. And with reports suggesting a potential connection between the veteran quarterback and the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota may have to look for their next signal-caller.

But what approach do the Vikings take? Do they pursue another veteran in free agency? Do they find their potential successor to Cousins in this year’s NFL Draft? Or do they do both to give their draft pick time to sit behind a bridge quarterback and give him additional time to develop?

Minnesota has the No. 11 overall pick in the draft, making it hard to secure one of the consensus top quarterbacks, so they have to trade up if they want to get their guy. 

NFL Rumors: Minnesota Vikings in the mix to trade up for QB

A prospect, and in particular trading up to get one, appears to be the "preferred" option for the Vikings per The Athletic’s Alec Lewis (subscription required). “Even then, head coach Kevin O’Connell believes in giving a young player time to develop, so the Vikings would likely need a bridge QB,” Lewis adds.

Lewis listed Sam Darnold, Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Tannehill, Justin Fields, and Russell Wilson as potential veteran options Minnesota could sign to serve as a bridge quarterback for whatever young prospect they feel inclined to move up the draft board to select. Gardner Minshew, Trey Lance, Jameis Winston, and Drew Lock were named as possibilities too.

With superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson expected to net roughly $30 million annually in his looming contract extension, it makes sense for the Vikings to aggressively pursue a quarterback on a rookie-scale, team-friendly contract. Minnesota would be hard-pressed to upgrade their roster moving forward if they pay Jefferson and Cousins (or another costly veteran).

If Cousins already played his last snap as a member of the Vikings, Minnesota trading up for a quarterback could be the most logical offseason approach to addressing the position, considering the current state of the team and the lack of decorated and experienced veteran options on the free agent market.

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