Trade Pitch Nets Vikings $19 Million Star QB for 1st-Round Pick.

TRADE DEAL DONE: Vikings Paid $19Million QB Super Star For…..

ll signs point to the Minnesota Vikings adding a QB with franchise potential to the roster soon, but how the team will get that player remains to be seen.

At 6-6 with an inconsistent Josh Dobbs set to start his fourth game in Minnesota on Sunday, December 10, it’s difficult to predict where the Vikings will fall in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft and which quarterback prospect they might be able to land there.

However, there is one signal-caller Minnesota may be able to secure with its first-round selection regardless of whether that pick ends up at No. 10, No. 30 or anywhere in between. That player is Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

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Quarterback Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears.

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Strangely enough, it has been a brutal five-day run by the Pittsburgh Steelers that has created the circumstances by which Fields is now highly likely to be available via trade come March.

Pittsburgh lost to the 2-10 New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football after dropping a game to the 2-10 Arizona Cardinals the Sunday before.

The Carolina Panthers were already the sole NFL team with just one victory heading into Week 14, and there is now a two-game gap between the Panthers and the other two worst teams in the league. Carolina’s remaining schedule is far from daunting, but the odds the team wins two of its last five games are long, to say the least.

Chicago owns the Panthers’ first-round pick next April after trading the top selection in 2023 for that right along with a load of other assets — a deal that looks fantastic now, even despite the Bears passing up the chance to draft MVP candidate CJ Stroud. The deal will look less genius, as will Chicago general manager Ryan Poles, if the team passes on second consecutive franchise QB in 2024.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune wrote on Wednesday that the chances are increasingly likely the Bears will reset the quarterback clock by drafting one next spring.

“Keeping Poles’ overarching goal in mind, and understanding that the Bears probably have not checked all of the boxes they would like to at this point with Justin Fields, it seems like most signs point in one direction: selecting a quarterback at or near the top of a draft that should offer some excellent choices,” Biggs wrote.

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Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

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Fields is in the final season of his $19 million rookie contract and if the Vikings trade for him, they will also acquire fifth-year team option to keep Fields salary-controlled through 2025. That gives Minnesota two years to develop Fields in head coach Kevin O’Connell’s system and avoid starting from scratch with a rookie.

The advantage of a semi-veteran QB could be more valuable to the Vikings than to other franchises, as the team just extended tight end T.J. Hockenson to a historic deal for his position and is likely to do the same for wide receiver Justin Jefferson in the offseason. A rookie like Jayden Daniels of LSU or JJ McCarthy of Michigan will start their careers far behind where Fields already is in 2024, even despite playing several seasons at the collegiate level.

Beyond that, if the Vikings achieve their goal of making the playoffs, next year’s pick will fall low enough that Daniels and McCarthy may already be off the board. The Bears figure to go with Caleb Williams of USC or Drake Maye of North Carolina, while another team will select whoever remains shortly after.

Dobbs has been a nice story, but he isn’t a long-term solution. Kirk Cousins will be 36 and coming off of an Achilles tears, so he doesn’t figure to be more than a one-year answer either. There is almost no regular-season tape upon which to evaluate fifth-round rookie Jaren Hall, leaving the Vikings in a tough spot.

Vikings Need to Make Definitive Call on Franchise QB Soon
General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (left) and head coach Kevin O’Connell (right) of the Minnesota Vikings.

GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has already kicked the can down the road on a new QB for two years. At some point, the Vikings need to take a swing. The Bears shouldn’t quibble too much about the positioning of the pick they get in return for Fields if they trade him, as long as it’s first-round value they’re getting back.

An 1,100-yard rusher from the quarterback spot in 2022, Fields can offer Minnesota a dynamic skill set at a reasonable price, and the Vikings will have a better sense of the player they are getting than they would by drafting a prospect in the mid- or late-first round.

As such, if O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah like what they have seen in Fields over the past two seasons playing against him in the NFC North Division, trading for the QB reads like reasonable path forward.



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