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Finally, a Summer Trade That Doesn’t Enrage Vikings Fans


Finally, a Summer Vikings Trade That Doesn't Enrage Fans
October 4, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Daniel Brunskill (60), center Ben Garland (63), and quarterback Nick Mullens. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings traded a 2024 conditional 7th-Round draft pick on Monday to the Las Vegas Raiders for quarterback Nick Mullens.

Unless something bizarre happens, Mullens will instantly become the franchise’s QB2 for 2022.

While the trade effectively ended the months-long Kellen Mond vs. Sean Mannion debate, it’s also a change of pace regarding summer trades. Vikings fans universally embraced the addition of Mullens in the immediate aftermath of the deal. For the last half-decade or so, most late-summer Vikings trades were met with skepticism and scorn.

But the Mullens trade was rubberstamped by Vikings enthusiasts. In the last six years, these transactions left folks scratching heads.

1. The Chris Herndon Deal

Saints Add Another Former Vikings TE
Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Chris Herndon. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

What MIN Received: Chris Herndon (TE), 2022 6th-Rounder (Vederian Lowe, OT)
What NYJ Received: 2022 4th-Rounder (Micheal Clemons, DT)

From the moment this trade hit the news wire, folks grumbled. Irv Smith was lost for the season due to a torn meniscus, and former bossman Rick Spielman hopped on the phone with the Jets.

Herndon, a career TE2 type, was the object of his desire, and Spielman flung a 4th-Rounder to the Big Apple. The Vikings would showcase Herndon as a TE1, right? They had to, correct?

Nope. Herndon was targeted seven times in the Vikings 2021 passing game. Tyler Conklin emerged instead, enough to parlay a fabulous campaign into a lucrative free-agent contract with the — you guessed it — Jets in 2022.

The Vikings traded a 4th-Round draft pick for seven targets to a TE2.

2. The Yannick Ngakoue Deal

Oct 18, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports,

What MIN Received: Yannick Ngakoue (EDGE)
What JAX Received:
2021 2nd-Rounder (Walker Little, OT), 2022 5th-Rounder (traded)

In fairness to Spielman, fans championed this deal at the time. Ngakoue was supposed to pair with Danielle Hunter for a dangerous pass-rushing duo — not unlike Hunter and Za’Darius Smith this year. But Hunter was injured during the summer of 2020, and the Vikings defense decided Ngakoue didn’t fit their scheme.

On the ash heap of recent, late-summer Vikings trades, Ngakoue was traded to the Baltimore Ravens about eight weeks later.

Pat Jones was the trade capital returned to the Vikings in the Ngakoue-to-Baltimore deal. So, keep an eye on Jones.

3. The Kaare Vedvik Deal

Aug 18, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings punter Kaare Vedvik. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

What MIN Received: Kaare Vedvik (K/P)
What BAL Received:
2020 5th-Rounder (Broderick Washington, DT)

Probably the most egregious overspend on the list, the Vikings traded a 5th-Rounder to the Ravens for a kicker-punter. Vedvick was supposed to compete with Dan Bailey for the kicking job and perhaps intermix some punts.

Well, Vedvik struggled immensely in the preseason, causing Minnesota to cut him 19 days after sending a 5th-Rounder to Baltimore. 19 days.

Vedvik bounced around the league after the Vikings release, joining the Jets, Bengals, Bills, Panthers, Commanders, and Jaguars. He’s currently a kicker in the CFL for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

4. The Sam Bradford Deal

Sep 23, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

What MIN Received: Sam Bradford (QB)
What PHI Received:
2017 1st-Rounder (Derek Barnett, DE), 2018 4th-Rounder (Josh Sweat, DE)

This trade was laced with emergency vibes. After winning the NFC North in 2015, the Vikings believed they were a Super Bowl contender. But late in the summer of 2016, QB1 Teddy Bridgewater suffered a career-altering knee injury, thrusting the Vikings into panic.

Spielman bartered with the Eagles, who were transitioning to the Carson Wentz era, for QB2 Sam Bradford. The Vikings started hot in 2016 but crumbled after the bye week. Bradford led Minnesota to an 8-8 record in 2016 and was injured the season after, paving the way for Case Keenum and his storybook season in 2017.

Overall, the Vikings gifted the Eagles about 40% of its current starting defensive line.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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