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ESPN suggests alternative fix to Vikings quarterback problem

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And it involves a trade

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve heard any number of names being bandied about as the answer to the Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback issue going into the 2018 NFL season. Whether it’s Case Keenum or Kirk Cousins or Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater, there has been a lot of speculation, and it will all come to a head in a little over a week.

Well, over at ESPN, they’ve come up with a solution that I can almost guarantee nobody has thought of. I know that I certainly hadn’t considered it.

Behind the great E$PN paywall, there’s an article titled “Six NFL trades that should happen.” The folks from the four-letter talked to some NFL executives and got their thoughts on trades that could be beneficial for teams across the league. While the article was, apparently, only supposed to include five deals, but the one involving the Vikings was a “bonus” trade proposal.

The trade, put forth by some unnamed NFL executive (none of them were identified, obviously) would involve the Vikings sending their second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and their first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to the Los Angeles Chargers for quarterback Philip Rivers.

I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing.

Here’s the logic behind it:

Minnesota would be getting a two-year quarterback rental at a financial cost much lower than what Kirk Cousins would command (Rivers is due $15 million this year and $16 million in 2019, figures low enough for the Vikings to consider re-signing Teddy Bridgewater as well). If Rivers lifted the Vikings over the top for their first Super Bowl victory, no one would care about not having a 2019 first-round pick. Perhaps Bridgewater would be ready to take over eventually.

I mean, I suppose that it makes sense in theory. Rivers is a top-tier quarterback that is getting toward the end of his career and is no doubt looking for a ring before he rides off into the sunset. He would come at a substantially lower price than Cousins will fetch, and the team could make an effort to keep Bridgewater around to take over down the line. I don’t know if Bridgewater would be interested in doing that. My inclination would be that he wouldn’t.

The downside, obviously, is that it would leave the Vikings in that familiar place that the Vikings always seem to be in. . .without a long-term answer at quarterback for the future. Rivers only has a few years left, you would assume, and unless you think Kyle Sloter has a chance to be an upper-level NFL quarterback, the Vikings don’t have a whole lot else as it stands right now.

I understand that this deal has just about no chance of actually occurring. After all, the Chargers don’t exactly have a quarterback of the future, either, so their incentive to trade Rivers would be just about zero. But it’s definitely the sort of outside-the-box thinking that doesn’t happen often enough. I thought I’d pass it along for your reading pleasure.