Patriots’ Obscene Trade Demands Seem Contingent on Which QB Falls to No. 3

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here. Like, one day away, which is hard to even believe. But don’t think the rollercoaster ride is over just yet. It’s always best to assume, especially this year, that we have a few twists and turns left on this track, before we finally come to a rest position tomorrow night.

Here’s what we do know. The New England Patriots, at No. 3 overall, hold a lot of the cards on what happens in the top of the first round. They have most of the league believing they want to “stick and pick” a QB at No. 3, unless they’re blown away by a massive trade package.

New England’s asking price is so highthought to be THREE, possibly even FOUR 1st round picks — that even the most desperate teams (including the Vikings) haven’t gotten close to meeting their demands. Meanwhile, it seems like Minnesota is either worried or annoyed about the move-up price they are currently being peddled by the Patriots.

Patriots’ obscene trade demands seem based on a surprise Jayden Daniels fall

On the eve of the draft, those inside the Vikings organization are telling every NFL insider willing to listen that, sure, maybe their top target is Drake Maye, but that they are absolutely not going to Herschel Walker their way to getting him.

That general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell are perfectly happy with sitting and picking whoever is available at No. 11 and/or No. 23, whether that’s a QB or not. We saw this same thing reported by Matt Miller and Jeremy Fowler (ESPN), among others, this morning.

This is a big shift from most of what we were hearing weeks ago, though there has been a lot more pushback, because of the continued cost being charged by the Pats. But… as we learn more about what the Patriots are thinking at No. 3, it appears their trade demands are based more so on one specific QB being available to them.

Related: NFL insider reveals disadvantage Vikings face in trade talks

Dianna Russini (The Athletic) hinting at just that, in her column on Wednesday morning, saying that, ‘if the Patriots make a trade, they won’t do the deal until they see who Washington is taking at QB’. Hmmm… why would it matter who Washington takes, if the Patriots do indeed like two or three QBs at No. 3?

Could Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots meet in middle if Daniels isn’t avaliable?

Then, there’s local NFL Draft expert Thor Nystrom ( speaking with Scott Gulbransen (Sportsnaut) about what his extensive research is leading him to believe about New England’s plan at three. He too thinks the Patriots plans depend on who is available to them at No. 3.

But, Thor gets more specific and appears convinced that it’s LSU’s Jayden Daniels who that Pats are praying falls to them… “I think [the Patriots’ plan] is going to depend on who is [still on the board] when they get on the clock, because I think the Patriots like Jaden Daniels a whole heck of a lot.”

That if Daniels doesn’t fall, that’s when we could suddenly see the Patriots price become a lot more reasonable.

“If indeed Washington went another [pick] outside of Jaden [Daniels], that means Jaden gets down to pick three. I think that’s when the Patriots are like, ‘we’re not trading this unless you absolutely blow our doors off’, something that everyone objectively would think is ridiculous.

I think that’s when the Viking don’t have [the option to trade up]. But I think in the the other scenario, where Jaden goes [No. 2 and Drake Maye falls to No. 3], I think there is that possibility that the Patriots come down in their ask a little bit, the Vikings go up a little bit, and maybe we can meet in the middle.”

Thor Nystrom (via Sportsnaut)

I mean, all of the puzzle pieces fit in pretty nicely, here. Especially when we remember the biggest drawbacks of Drake Maye, which is his rawness as a QB prospect. There are even some out there who worry he doesn’t stand a chance trying to fulfill his potential with a Patriots organization that has not shown an ability to foster QB growth since Tom Brady came out of nowhere 20 years ago.

Related: NFL insider reveals likely Justin Jefferson trade cost, odds of Minnesota Vikings’ deal

Jayden Daniels, on the other hand, is the type of freak athlete who a team like the Patriots could build around, relying on a more polished set of skills and his innate ability to get outside the pocket and run, whenever needed. Obviously, New England wouldn’t want to give away their plans, even if they are holding out for Daniels, specifically.

So, all of this steam today, that the Vikings want to move up for Drake Maye but that they aren’t desperate, could just be part of a waiting game for Washington at No. 2. If they take Jayden, as expected, that’s when we could see Minnesota and New England meet in the middle.

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