Patriots accused of intentionally driving up price of Vikings draft target

Former Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy
Former Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

With the 2024 NFL Draft now less than a month away, the Minnesota Vikings and the rest of the teams around the league will be spending a portion of their time during the next few weeks attempting to best position themselves to land the prospect they desire the most in this year's pool.

Former Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy has been linked to the Vikings for a while this offseason. But recently, it was reported by Sporskeeda's Tony Pauline that the New England Patriots are "pushing hard" to end up with McCarthy in this year's draft.

This has caused some Minnesota fans to believe McCarthy could now potentially be out of reach, but former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber took to Twitter on Tuesday to share his theory about the Patriots' reported interest in the quarterback prospect.

Are the New England Patriots just driving up the price for the Minnesota Vikings to pay to draft J.J. McCarthy?

While many believe the Chicago Bears (pick No. 1) and Washington Commanders (pick No. 2) already know what they are doing with their top selection in this year's NFL Draft, there is still plenty of uncertainty about New England's plans for the No. 3 pick.

The Patriots definitely need a quarterback, but they also have a number of other holes on their roster. Instead of adding a young signal-caller to an unstable situation, New England might be better off trading back with a team like Minnesota and acquiring more picks to help them improve their overall roster.

Eliot Wolf is currently the de facto general manager of the Patriots, and earlier in his career, he spent more than a decade in the Green Bay Packers front office. Wolf was there when the Packers made the transition from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers, so he knows how essential building a solid roster can be for a young quarterback.

Looking at the timing of this report from Pauline, the Vikings possibly had a discussion with the Patriots about acquiring the No. 3 pick in this year's draft during last week's owners meetings.

New England probably wasn't happy with what Minnesota was willing to offer, and now Wolf and the Patriots are spreading the word that they're "interested" in selecting McCarthy to drive up the price of what it would take to acquire pick No. 3.

Some might not like this, but at this point, the Vikings should be willing to do almost anything to trade up and get the quarterback prospect they want to draft. If that means Minnesota has to throw in an extra future first-round pick to get New England to agree to a deal, than so be it.

The Vikings have been sitting around and waiting for a franchise quarterback to fall into their lap during their entire existence as a franchise. This strategy has resulted in a grand total of zero Super Bowl victories, so it's time for Minnesota to shake things up and actually make a move to go get the guy who they believe can potentially lead them to a championship.

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