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
Viking Update Top Stories
Men in the middle: Scouting free-agent MLBsThe Vikings aren't in the pressing-need category for a middle linebacker, but with Audie Cole a free agent and Mike Zimmer looking to amass troops, it isn't out of the question.
Viking Update10:11 AM
Notebook: Zimmer holding off on surgeryMinnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is holding off on another eye surgery until after the heavy travel period; and we also look at the futures of Chad Greenway and Adam Thielen.
Viking Update8:36 AM
Combine Research: Defensive Ends (Part 2)What underrated sidekick is a budding paleontologist? Who was a star basketball player who honed his skills in the boxing ring? What star rusher was taken under his father's wing?…
Packer ReportYesterday at 7:19 PM
Combine Research: Defensive Ends (Part 1)Which top prospect has been without his mom for most of his life? Who is the son of a former NFL star? Who are two of the top small-school standouts? Those answers and more as we…
Packer ReportYesterday at 6:54 PM