Vikings Predicted to Land $230 Million Pro Bowl QB in Blockbuster Trade

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

If the Minnesota Vikings are locked outside of the top-four picks in this year’s draft, they may have to shift to a Plan B for addressing the quarterback situation — and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray could be a potential trade target.

In a March 26 mock draft, ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum put himself in every general manager’s position and selected 32 moves that he would do — and that includes the Cardinals moving off Murray and selecting J.J. McCarthy as the fourth consecutive quarterback off the board.

Tannenbaum’s fix for the Vikings if they cannot land a top-four quarterback in this year’s draft is to offer the No. 11 pick and receive Murray and a third-round pick from Arizona.

“In my mind, the No. 11 pick for Murray straight up is too rich, and No. 23 — Minnesota’s other first-rounder — on its own is not enough. So I’m attaching that third-rounder to the No. 11 pick to level this out,” It’s similar to what the Cardinals did during the 2022 draft, when they traded their first-round pick (No. 23) to Baltimore for receiver Marquise Brown and a third-rounder,” Tannenbaum wrote.

“From the Vikings’ standpoint, everything I said earlier about Murray’s durability still matters, but he’s cheaper and younger than Kirk Cousins would have been to re-sign and gives them a chance to compete this season rather than rebuild.”

Vikings’ Ship Has Likely Already Sailed Past Cardinals’ Kyler Murray

kyler murray

GettyArizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray.

While Tannenbaum’s theory of the Vikings’ pivot at quarterback, if they cannot get inside the first four picks, holds weight, the cost of acquiring Murray is too much for Minnesota.

In 2022, Murray signed a five-year, $230.5 million contract extension — the fifth-richest quarterback contract in the NFL — and the cheap years are over for Murray.

A trade before June 1 would stick the Cardinals with $46.2 million in dead cap, which would be a record for a team moving off a veteran quarterback contract. Murray has $113 million fully guaranteed in his contract for the next three seasons —  exactly the situation the Vikings strived to avoid in their negotiations with Cousins.

In November, The Athletic entertained the possibility of a Murray trade and several league executives rebuked the idea, calling his contract untradable and “problematic.”

However, Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, is a former Offensive Rookie of the Year and two-time Pro Bowl talent. If the Vikings believe they have a win-now roster at their disposal they could work the books to make it happen for a couple of years.

That’s likely not the case and not the way general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wants to run the team (“You never want to go full Rams.“).

 Vikings Are Building a Long-Term Contender, Not a Dark Horse

Adofo-Mensah, O'Connell, Vikings

GettyMinnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (left) and head coach Kevin O’Connell (right) in attendance at the Sweet 16 Round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in March 2023.

For years, the Vikings have been outside contender talk but a team that could surprise in the playoffs.

In 2022, Minnesota won all 11 one-score games in the regular season en route to a 13-4 record. It was a testament to the culture built by Kevin O’Connell in his first year.

But that underdog mentality can only get you so far, as the Vikings washed out of the first round of the NFC playoffs, falling to the New York Giants by seven points.

The Giants went on to get wiped by the Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagles, a team that had a roster brimming with top-tier talent surrounding Jalen Hurts, who was on a rookie contract.

The Vikings rarely put teams away early throughout the Cousins era due to the roster deteriorating after the 2019 season and a lack of cap space to sign priority free agents.

But with a cost-effective rookie quarterback who could reach Pro Bowl status, that becomes a possibility the Vikings hope to take advantage of in the coming years.

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