Vikings GM explains why he didn’t worry about trading within the NFC North with the Lions
There has long been a prevailing sentiment that NFL teams should never make a trade within their own division. But the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings turned that on its head in 2022.
Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Lions GM Brad Holmes made two intradivisional trades, including a big one that sent Pro Bowl TE T.J. Hockenson from the Lions to the Vikings for a pair of draft picks. Based on what Adofo-Mensah had to say on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, there could be more trades within the division coming in the future, too.
The question was one many fans from both NFC North teams wanted to know. Why make a trade within the division, one that might help the opponent as much as it helps you? It is something Lions fans have inquired about with Holmes making the deal too.
Here’s how Adofo-Mensah responded,
“Yeah, that’s a tough one. I know that, ultimately, your first path to the playoffs is winning your division, right? So you never want, obviously, make your division stronger. But ultimately, the best path I have to the playoffs is putting the best team on the field. So that’s where that starts.
Brad (Lions GM Holmes) and I have a really good relationship. I said earlier, ‘I’m not trying to -‘ You can do trades where both sides kind of know what their interests are and both can win. Sometimes you’re trading time value. So my needs might be more current; his needs might be future. So you see if you can come together and trade a player for draft picks and have that make sense.”
Fans might not appreciate the sentiment, but Adofo-Mensah quashed the notion that trades must have a winner and a loser. His tone sure made it feel like he wouldn’t have it any other way, too.
“There’s no reason that you need to run people over or whatever. I plan on being in this business more than one year, and I want to be able to pick up the phone and call people and do those things. That’s how I dealt in this business; that’s how I dealt in Wall Street. I wasn’t the guy that was gonna call people up, try to see where they were vulnerable to convince them to do something they didn’t want to do. I have a vision of what I think player value is or whatever, and I’m trying to do that. And if you have your vision and that can work, let’s meet together in the middle.”