Jets laughed at Vikings in war room after making trade for No. 10 pick: 'Free money!'

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh / Rich Storry/GettyImages

When the Minnesota Vikings traded up one spot in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft to select Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, the instant reaction from the fan base was that of excitement.

The Vikings got their quarterback, and they got him at a much more reasonable price than anyone anticipated going into draft weekend. All it took was moving up one spot? Piece of cake! That's an easy decision.

However, one could certainly make the point that the New York Jets, sitting at pick No. 10, weren't going to select a quarterback anyway. So, the Vikings might have been able to snag McCarthy at no. 11 in the end.

Sure, there's an argument to be made that the Jets could have struck a deal with a team like the Denver Broncos or Las Vegas Raiders, who might have also wanted to draft McCarthy. But it doesn't sound like either of those scenarios were going to happen.

New York Jets were going to draft Olu Fashanu no matter what, so the Minnesota Vikings did, essentially, give them free money

In the New York Jets' draft war room, you could see general manager Joe Douglas on the phone and working out a deal with the Vikings. It seemed as though Douglas was trying to hold in his smirk and laughter, because he knew just as well as anyone else in that room, the pick was always going to be Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu.

"Free money," Jets head coach Robert Saleh retorted once the deal was done.

On one hand, it does look like the Vikings gave up a whole lot just to move up one pick for McCarthy. But if McCarthy turns into a legitimate franchise quarterback in Minnesota, then no one is going to bat an eye because of this trade.

The Jets, meanwhile, are in a position where they are having to go all-in after acquiring Aaron Rodgers last offseason. New York might be laughing right now, but Rodgers' age and health are no laughing matter. Coming off an Achilles tear and now 40 years old, there are no guarantees for the 4-time NFL MVP.