NFL insider reveals huge disadvantage Minnesota Vikings face in trade talks for top 5 pick

Minnesota Vikings news, 2024 NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings draft rumors have tied the team to trade-up scenarios for a top quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft all offseason. With the 2024 NFL Draft imminent, the Vikings front office is reportedly dealing with a significant disadvantage in trade talks with other teams.

Minnesota’s efforts to acquire one of the top picks in the 2024 NFL Draft order have proved unproductive thus far. The Washington Commanders, holding the second overall pick, are officially keeping their selection, which means quarterbacks will be taken with the first two picks in the NFL Draft.

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

It immediately removes two of the top quarterback prospects off the Vikings draft board. As for the third overall pick, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday that the New England Patriots haven’t liked any trade proposals made by other teams. Barring a dramatic change in the offers being presented, New England will likely pick a quarterback with the third overall pick.

As for the Arizona Cardinals, NFL Draft rumors surfaced this week that general manager Monti Ossenfort is unwilling to make a deal until he is officially on the clock. It adds another layer of uncertainty for Minnesota’s front office in an offseason where the team has made its interest in drafting a quarterback evident. Now, more information has emerged explaining why Minnesota is having difficulties finding a deal.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft quarterback rankings

On a recent episode of Zero Blitz’s “Inside Coverage” podcast, Yahoo Sports senior NFL reporter Charles Robinson explained the ‘lost leverage’ Minnesota is encountering in negotiations with teams possessing top picks.

“I’ve talked to a couple of different people about compensation and they go back to the same thing. They made the decision with Kirk, they’re sitting there with Sam Darnold. Wherever the Vikings move, whether it’s 4 or 5 or wherever the team on the other end of the line is going, ‘Sam Darnold is not going to be your guy, that’s not your long-term answer. You’re going to pay us to move up.’ They’ve lost leverage is basically what I’ve been told.”

Charles Robinson on Minnesota Vikings trade talks for a top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft

Related: Why the Minnesota Vikings should draft J.J. McCarthy

Tying in recent Minnesota Vikings rumors to the team’s situation

Minnesota Vikings rumors, 2024 NFL Draft
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Leverage is critical to trade negotiations, especially when a team is trying to land a quarterback. The Commanders, Patriots, Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers each knew exactly which position Minnesota wants to move up for and any trade comes with the so-called quarterback tax.

Related: Elite QB prospect reportedly wants to play for the Minnesota Vikings

While the Vikings have publicly suggested they are willing to start Sam Darnold in 2024, few around the league are buying into him as a starting option the team is comfortable with. Darnold’s contract was originally reported as being worth $10 million, but the $5 million cap hit is more in line with backup quarterbacks.

  • Sam Darnold contract: $2.5 million base salary in 2024, $5 million cap hit

Previous reporting earlier this offseason also plays into where things stand for Minnesota. While the Vikings have been trying to complete a trade-up before Thursday night, they’ve been attempting to keep the 23rd overall pick in any negotiations. Meanwhile, the teams Minnesota is negotiating with are setting the bare minimum price at a much higher cost and those clubs aren’t backing off that demand.

Also Read: 2024 NFL Draft could see historic number of first-round quarterbacks

The lack of success in trading up could also explain recently-surfaced NFL Draft rumors that Minnesota might now be willing to stand pat and keep its first-round picks. In that scenario, the growing buzz connecting them to Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix makes even more sense. However, the Vikings’ leaking an openness to not moving up could also easily be an attempt by them to try and gain some leverage back in negotiations and push the asking price down.

The latter is more likely, especially in comparison to the possibility of the Vikings selecting Nix with the 11th overall pick. One thing that remains clear just days out from the 2024 NFL Draft is that Minnesota showed its cards to teams months ago and they’ve been paying for it ever since.

Also Read: 2024 NHL Draft order, draft lottery odds and top NHL Draft prospects

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