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Should Vikings trade for Justin Herbert?

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Vikings are looking for a new franchise quarterback after the departure of Kirk Cousins in free agency.

For now, the starter appears to be Sam Darnold. That’s unless the Vikings make a splash in April’s NFL Draft, or make a blockbuster trade of another variety. Some recent speculation has Minnesota linked to L.A. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.

The Vikings currently have the No. 11 overall pick, and last week traded with the Houston Texans for the No. 23 overall pick. The popular thought is they could package those two picks, and even a future first round pick, to move up into the top-five of the NFL Draft. They could even get to the top three, which paves the way to pick one of Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye.

But what about Herbert? He started 13 games last season and passed for more than 3,100 yards and 20 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions. His season ended after suffering a broken finger in December. He passed for more than 4,700 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2022. He was a Pro Bowl pick in 2021 after throwing for more than 5,000 yards and 38 touchdowns.

The Chargers have shifted direction, firing coach Branon Staley after this past season. Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen left the team in free agency. They’ve also hired Jim Harbaugh to take over as head coach.

He just paired with J.J. McCarthy, a potential first round pick, to win a College Football Playoff national title. Without Cousins, the Vikings would love to pair Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson and others with a veteran quarterback who isn’t afraid to sling it. You can likely get Herbert for the two first round picks, and that clears the path for Harbaugh and the Chargers to go after McCarthy.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is entering his third season as Vikings general manager, and it’s a critical year as they have to figure out the quarterback situation. Do you make a splash in the draft? Or go after a veteran like Herbert via trade for the right price?

The more you think about it, the more it makes sense.