Vikings Poised to Land Lucrative Pick Swap From Falcons, Cousins

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings.

It’s becoming a matter of not if, but how the Minnesota Vikings may be compensated for the Atlanta Falcons‘ alleged tampering in signing Kirk Cousins.

After  ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that league sources believe the Falcons will face significant punishment as early as draft week, KFAN’s Paul Allen posed a potential pick swap that could be in consideration.

On an April 22 airing of the #92Noon! radio show, Allen proposed that if the NFL is to send a strong message that tampering at the level of a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, a swap of the Falcons’ No. 8 pick for the Vikings’ No. 23 pick would suffice.

“Yeah, 8 for 23 is on my radar,” Allen said. “Well, let’s see how significant this is. I’m telling you right now, if the cornfield side can prove what you did compromised our ability to negotiate or work with that man [Kirk Cousins], this will be unprecedented — if they can prove that.”

Falcons’ Case for Tampering With Kirk Cousins Reaches New Heights

Kirk Cousins, Denver Broncos

GettyKirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Cousins tampering case could reach new heights. The Falcons landed Cousins, a four-time Pro Bowler who looked well into his prime before suffering an Achilles tear in October.

A pick swap is not unprecedented in cases of tampering.

In 2015, the Kansas Chiefs forfeited future first- and sixth-round picks for tampering with Jeremy Maclin.

In 2023, The Miami Dolphins lost their first-round pick and a 2024 third-rounder for several instances of tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton three separate times.

Most notably, the Arizona Cardinals settled a tampering dispute with the Philadelphia Eagles by trading third-round picks last year. The Eagles received the 66th pick for the 94th pick and a 2024 fifth-rounder.

Considering Cousins’ value to a team is far closer to Brady than it is Gannon, a pick swap involving first-rounders isn’t out of the question.

However, No. 23 for No. 8 could be a stretch.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio proposed a swap of the No. 8 pick for the Vikings’ No. 11 pick.

While it’s four spots, that would dramatically change the potential trade package the Vikings could offer to trade up for a quarterback in the draft.

Potential Vikings Trade Packages With No. 8 Pick

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

GettyGeneral Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

If the Vikings’ acquired the No. 8 pick, their potential trade packages to move inside the top five picks would likely not require a future first-round pick.

According to the Jimmy Johnson draft trade chart, the New England Patriots‘ No. 3 overall pick has a value of 2200 points.

The Vikings’ current first-round picks No. 11 (1,250) and No. 23 (760) amount to a trade value of 2,010 — a difference in value of roughly a third-round pick. The belief is the Vikings have to give up at least a future first-round pick to secure a deal with the Patriots — a massive surplus value due to the tax of drafting a quarterback.

But if the Vikings had the No. 8 pick (1,400) instead of No. 11, the trade value of their first-rounders would be 2,160 — almost on par with the value of the No. 3 pick.

Additional draft capital is still likely needed to sweeten the deal for the Patriots, but it goes from being a first-rounder to more likely a Day 2 pick.