Wheeling and dealing is the hot topic of conversation throughout the National Football League. While no pre-draft trades have found their way to the league office recently, that doesn't mean that the talks between teams has not started.
As many as 12 teams have expressed an interest in moving into the top-15 draft spots in the first round of the NFL draft. From the Jets to the Saints, talks have started and indications are that a record number of teams could be on the move draft day. Which would make the first round of the 2003 NFL draft the longest in history.
Where do the Vikings fit into this mix of gossip, rumor mongering, and stretching of the truth. The answer is, right in the middle of it all.
A handful of extremely pointed questions were presented to a member of the Minnesota organization Tuesday. This source has always provided credible insight and information to this reporter, so the responses provided bare some striking factors in what the Vikings' intentions are in the upcoming draft.
When asked if the trade rumors that appear have circulated throughout the league regarding quarterback Daunte Culpepper were viable, the response was:
"We have had some negotiations with Daunte (Culpepper) and he is the quarterback of this team. There is no intention on trading him, we haven't went down that road, and to trade him would have to be a deal in such great magnitude, that we don't believe a team could make such a proposal."
On the seventh selection in the NFL draft, right now:
"Our position is a good one. We have the potential to get a very good player that should step in and start right away for us. With the talent we have on this team, the talent that we have amassed in free agency, we like where we are as an organization right now. We have worked to improve our defensive unit, we have added some key players and there is still some work to do on that side of the ball."
Could the seventh selection in the draft be traded?
"Right now that is not our plan, but we have multiple scenarios in place in the event that an offer comes along or the players that we like are not on the board. To say no would not be an accurate assessment of what we are doing."
Does the team know who they want to select and who is the player?
"Generally, we have a good idea of what and who we are looking at. Rumors are out there, some true, some not. We haven't decided 100 percent on the player, but we will very soon. You never know what is going to happen with the teams selecting ahead of you, but we have a few ideas of what has been discussed between some teams. We'll be fine in any event."
Have the Vikings conducted any trade talks leading up to the draft?
"Many teams talk, from the end of the season, to scouting trips, to league meetings, there is always some element of discussion. I wouldn't say that we have engaged in any talks that could be construed as trade talks."
If the player or players that the organization has identified as being 'their guy' is off the board when the Vikings are on the clock, is a trade likely?
"Once we pinpoint the player or players that we would select with the selection, then we will evaluate our position. I wouldn't discount trading up for a player, staying put at seven, or dealing down. Right now, trading up does not appear to be a logical scenario for us."
Trade Rumors Addressed
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