Patriots ‘Open for Business’ at No. 3, but Vikings are Only Team Interested

Eliot Wolf, New England Patriots
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Unlike the Chicago Bears’ plans at No 1 (to draft Caleb Williams), their plans remain somewhat of a mystery, much like the Washington Commanders ahead of them at No. 2. One thing is for sure, New England will have a plethora of franchise-changing options.

They could take the best player available, which would give them the choice of multiple quarterbacks they reportedly like, or they can take the most talented non-QB on either side of the ball. But, they could also strike a deal to move back from No. 3, and gain more draft capital down the board. For a team that has a lot of needs, that makes a ton of sense too.

New England Patriots open for business at No. 3

On Thursday morning, Patriots GM Eliot Wolf told the entire world that New England is 100% ready to pull that second lever, should they get an offer they can’t refuse, even going as far as to say that they’re “open for business” in Boston.

Well, Patriots insider Tom Curran, who has more connections inside that organization than just about any media member in the Boston area, believes he knows a few things about what general manager Eliot Wolf and head coach Jerod Mayo have tentatively planned. He did an interview with the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand on the Daily Delivery podcastShout out to @TPPSkol on Twitter for alerting me to this interview.

Patriots ready to draft a quarterback too

Curran makes it clear that the Patriot’s default plan is to draft a quarterback, something Wolf confirmed today. He believes the quarterbacks they’re most seriously eyeing up are Drake Maye and JJ McCarthy, but that they’d be happy with any of the three quarterbacks who could fall to them, including Jayden Daniels.

[The Patriots’] default position is to take a quarterback. When you look at the three guys who are gonna be on the table — well, conceivably, there’ll be two — but with the the three potentials, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and JJ McCarthy; all three of them, the Patriots wouldn’t need a lot of convincing to see in a uniform, and on the field for them. I think all of them have their merits and they’re actually pretty varied, but the bottom line is their default position will be to select [a QB].

Tom Curran – Appearance on Daily Delivery Podcast w/Michael Rand (Star Tribune)

Related: Vikings Meeting Jayden Daniels for Dinner Tonight

Then, Curran gets into the trade-down scenarios. Yes, the Patriots are listening to trade-down offers. Tom also feels like most decision makers (and decision influencers) inside the organization understands that New England’s roster is a long ways away from being competitive, certainly not a rookie QB away.

Minnesota Vikings getting up to No. 3 is going to take a ‘godfather package’

But, if Minnesota general manager Kwesi-Adofo Mensah wants to rip the No. 3 overall pick out of Eliot Wolf’s hands, according to Curran, the Vikings’ offer would have to be of the ‘godfather’ variety. That the Patriots can say what they want publicly, but as of last he heard, “the bag” New England is asking for, consists of FOUR 1st-round picks, which isn’t a feasible asking price.

Jerod Mayo has said publicly and the Patriots have made clear that if an offer is so persuasive, they feel they can’t turn it down, a godfather father offer. If they would do that, or at least certainly consider it, what does that represent?

“In conversations I’ve had with folks around the team, it was made clear to me that the 2021 move by San Francisco, in which they went from No. 12 to No. 3, that yielded THREE 1st round picks, over the course of three seasons. It was said to me, not relative to that but just by way of comparison, the Patriots would be seeking FOUR [1st round picks].”

Tom Curran – Appearance on Daily Delivery Podcast w/Michael Rand (Star Tribune)

Related: Jeremiah: J.J. McCarthy Could Fall if Vikings Let Him

Throughout his interview with Rand, Curran seems convinced that New England will come down from four 1st rounders, but won’t settle for anything less than three. For the Vikings, that would mean No. 11 and No. 23 this year + their 2025 1st rounder too. I believe Kwesi will scoff at that. So does Tom. Remember, the Cardinals are also open for business, one pick later, at No. 4.

“The three 1st round picks, you’re not gonna get a fourth. Minnesota’s not going to give up and fourth 1st round pick. Can they give up a 2nd or 3rd down the road?”

“Now, do you think Arizona would be a more palatable trade partner and Minnesota is like, at any point in the storm, ‘we’ll take the leftover, we like JJ [McCarthy], we like Drake [Maye]’. I can’t imagine that Minnesota wouldn’t be saying, ‘OK, that’s nice, New England, you want four [1st round picks], that’s terrific, see ya. We’re talking to [Arizona].'”

Tom Curran – Appearance on Daily Delivery Podcast w/Michael Rand (Star Tribune)

Trade options for Patriots are Vikings or… bust (no Giants)

Kwesi Odofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings
Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the Patriots, saying that they’re speaking with multiple teams about a possible trade down… but are there really a lot of teams trying to move up to No. 3, especially at the price New England is charging?

Or… is what we heard today from their GM really just an attempt to drum up more business… because the trade-down business isn’t booming? Their own longtime reporter claims that’s the exact situation. That the only legitimate trade partner the Patriots have is the Minnesota Vikings.

Related: Growing 2024 NFL Draft buzz tying Minnesota Vikings to Bo Nix in first round

How sure is Curran of this information? He is 1,000,000% sure, according to what he told Rand, that the Vikings are the only team that has any chance of meeting the ‘bag’ or ‘godfather offer’ asking price the Patriots are seeking.

Rand: Do you feel like Minnesota is the most likely partner just because of the assets Minnesota has accumulated things like that?

Curran: Yeah, 1,000,000%. It has to be Minnesota. Because if you’re talking, we’re not gonna be satiated by anything less [than a Godfather offer]. Then, [Patriots] fanbase… every time I approach the trade down scenario, as you know this job is now a much more public and interactive job, the fan base is in an uproar, ‘why would you trade down, this is the only time you’re gonna be up there’. Well [actually] chances are pretty good, you’re probably gonna be up there in the top ten again.”

Tom Curran – Appearance on Daily Delivery Podcast w/Michael Rand (Star Tribune)

Remember, this franchise has an 82-year-old owner who wants a fancy new QB who he hopes can make the Patriots relevant again, before it’s too late for him. Then, there’s the delusional New England fanbase. Don’t even get Curran started on their lunacy.

So don’t believe the Pats’ smokescreen today. If the Minnesota Vikings do no trade up with the New England Patriots, then it’s highly unlikely anybody else does either.

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