You know something is up when the owner gets involved in making a public statement about the team's draft plan -- even when the line of questioning is vague and you know they won't tell you the real intent.
Last week, Zygi Wilf commented that the Vikings are happy where they're sitting with five picks on the first day of next weekend's draft and would be happy to stay where they are and make all five picks. Translation? They want to move up.
The rumor mill is rolling and the Vikings are now part of it. While the Vikings aren't saying anything publicly about trading up, they have contacted other teams about potentially moving up -- perhaps as high as No. 7 -- to get Jay Cutler.
The Vikings have apparently initiated phone calls with teams sitting in the back half of the top 10 about their willingness to move. While Matt Leinart could be a nice fit in a West Coast Offense, he will likely be gone by the fourth pick and the Vikings won't trade that high to move up. But with teams like the 49ers, Raiders and Cardinals looking to fill plenty of holes, getting two or three picks from the Vikings would help them cure a lot of their ills.
The word we're getting is that Brad Childress has compared the leadership skills of Cutler to that of the Patriots Tom Brady and that, if the cost is not too prohibitive, the team would be willing to package some picks to move up.
It also appears that the Vikings are unwilling to deal a first-round pick to get Matt Schaub from the Falcons. According to those with the Eagles, Childress wasn't overly impressed with Schaub when he came out of Virginia, so there's little reason to think that impression has changed.
On top of that, it's unlikely that the Vikings would have traded Daunte Culpepper for a second-round pick when it would then turn around and trade a first-rounder for Schaub, who will become a restricted free agent after the 2006 season.
As the clock rolls down the hours before the draft, the Vikings are still in sit-and-wait mode. Not knowing how the draft will flush out, there isn't much of a chance the team will make an official deal before the picks start going off the board, but one thing is certain -- they're making calls to set up potential deals if the cards fall their way on draft weekend.
Let's Make a Deal
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