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In a Vikings Draft Trade, How Much is Too Much?

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By: David Stefano

Join The Real Forno Show as we ask ‘how much is too much?’ as we delve into the Minnesota Vikings’ potential quarterback change, the complexities of trading up for a new pick, and the continued use of void years in contracts. SKOL!

In the most recent installment of The Real Forno Show, Tyler Forness and his producer, Dave, delve deep into the Minnesota Vikings’ strategy for the upcoming NFL draft. The duo grapples with a weighty question: How much is too much for the Vikings to pay to land a new quarterback?

Analyzing Speculations and Evaluations

The discussion is kicked off with Tyler shedding light on the whirlpool of speculations and evaluations that are currently circulating around the Vikings’ potential trade maneuvers. He draws a clear distinction between actual reports and speculative conversations, arguing that the latter often carry more weight due to their subjective and open-ended nature.

“Usually when you hear a guy like Tom Pelissero talk, it is reporting because that’s his number one job. But these are just conversations, asking questions and getting thoughts. So to me, that speaks more than, hey, I’m going to blow smoke up your butt,” said Tyler.

This perspective underscores the importance of understanding the difference between concrete information and educated guesses in the world of sports analysis.

The Importance of Infrastructure for Success

The conversation then shifts toward the importance of infrastructure in fostering a successful quarterback. Tyler underlines that compared to other teams who might be considering trading up in the draft, the Vikings have a far superior setup. For a quarterback to succeed, the infrastructure—from the wide receivers, and the offensive line to the coaching staff—needs to be robust.

He further elaborates that the Vikings are well-equipped with a talented team that includes elite-level tackles, a top-five tight end in the game, and an emerging number two. He argues that having one weakness on the team is acceptable if it’s on the interior, as a good quarterback can maneuver around pressure.

Determining the Cost of Trading Up

As the discussion progresses, the hosts delve into the main theme of the show: determining the cost of trading up to secure a quarterback. While Tyler is of the belief that there is no price too high if the quarterback turns out to be a hit, Dave counters that there is definitely a limit. They discuss the various trade charts and evaluate what would be a realistic trade for the Vikings.

The Future of Draft Picks

The episode wraps up with a forward-looking perspective. The co-hosts discuss the value of future draft picks and the inherent risks associated with trading them away. They emphasize the fact that the farther into the future the draft picks are, the less they are inherently worth at the present moment. They also examine the job security of the general managers involved in making these high-stakes trade decisions.

Vikings Draft Trade: Balancing Risk and Reward

Tyler examined the potential for the Vikings to make strategic moves in the draft. He discussed how the Vikings could trade #11 and #23 and a 2026 first-round pick to preserve their 2025 first, a strategy that carries significant value on the Rich Hill trade charts.

He argued that this approach could be more beneficial than offering a 2025 first and a 2026 first, as it allows the Vikings to keep their 2025 first and only sacrifice a second-round pick it took to get the 323 pick this year. This, according to Tyler, introduces a level of intrigue to the trade conversation and offers a potential pathway for the Vikings to maximize their draft assets.

Tyler used the hypothetical trade scenario involving Drake Maye to illustrate his point:

“The one that was thrown at me when I did a Q and A session on Twitter the other day, like what would be too high of a price for Drake Maye? I said three first and Justin Jefferson. I think that price is too high. Now, three firsts? No, I think I’d pay that. Would I trade just Justin Jefferson [and keep the 1st-round picks]? My immediate answer is not no.” – Tyler Forness

Tyler’s analysis underscores the importance of navigating the delicate balance between seizing opportunities and avoiding overpayment in trade deals.

Void Years: A Tool for Financial Flexibility

Transitioning from trade strategies, Tyler then delved into the nuanced concept of void years in NFL contracts. Void years allow teams to spread money over multiple years, essentially serving as an interest-free loan, which can significantly impact a team’s financial flexibility.

Tyler explained how teams could choose to take a significant cap hit in one year or spread it out over multiple years to lessen the burden. This strategic move allows teams to bring in more talent and provides them with room to maneuver in the future.

The Case of Harrison Smith: A Lesson in Contract Restructuring

The show wrapped up with a focused discussion on Harrison Smith and his recent pay cut. Tyler speculated that this move might be a precursor to Smith’s retirement, given the restructuring of his contract to include four void years.

Smith’s base salary for the next year has been reduced from over $18 million to 1.25 million, and his per-game roster bonuses have been voided. This restructuring, according to Tyler, gives Smith more options in the future, whether that means staying with the Vikings or retiring.

“The way he structured it tells me he’s going to retire and that’ll stink, but he had a relatively healthy career. He had a really good career and he made a lot of money. That’s pretty damn cool.” – Tyler Forness

This discussion provides a fascinating insight into the strategic decisions players and teams make when negotiating contracts and the potential implications of these decisions.

Closing Thoughts

The Real Forno Show continues to deliver insightful discussions on the inner workings of the Minnesota Vikings. As we dissect the complex world of NFL trades and contracts, we gain a deeper understanding of the strategic decisions that shape the team’s future.

From analyzing trade opportunities to understanding the intricacies of contract structuring, each episode brings us closer to the heart of the game. Stay tuned for the next episode, where we continue our exploration of the dynamic and exciting world of the Minnesota Vikings.



In conclusion, the latest episode of The Real Forno Show provides an insightful and in-depth analysis of the Minnesota Vikings’ draft trade strategy. It leaves listeners with a lot to ponder about the upcoming NFL draft and the Vikings’ potential moves. Stay tuned for the next episode for more comprehensive discussions about the Vikings and the NFL draft.


Tyler Forness @TheRealForno of Vikings 1st & SKOL @Vikings1stSKOL and the Vikings Wire @TheVikingsWire and Dave Stefano @Luft_Krigare producing this Vikings 1st & SKOL production, on the @RealFornoShow. Podcasts partnered with Fans First Sports Network @FansFirstSN and Fans First Sports Network’s NFL feed @FFSN_NFL.

Originally posted on Daily Norseman