George Paton spent 13 years working alongside Rick Spielman with the Vikings before leaving to become the Denver Broncos’ general manager this offseason. Now, it appears Paton is trying to do business with his former boss.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported that if the Broncos select a quarterback with the ninth pick of the NFL draft that they would be looking to deal Drew Lock and that Minnesota could be a potential destination. Here’s what Breer wrote:
One veteran quarterback who could be moved this weekend: Denver third-year man Drew Lock. If the Broncos land Justin Fields or Trey Lance (which I think is a possibility), there’s a strong perception that Lock will be on the block starting Friday. One potential destination I’ve heard for Lock is Minnesota, a team that could use an affordable backup with upside. Carolina was one team I heard could be in the mix, but that’d be if they don’t draft one Thursday night (and I think they could).
The Vikings have yet to sign a backup contract to replace free agent Sean Mannion and right now the only quarterbacks on the roster besides starter Kirk Cousins are practice squad Jake guys Browning and Nate Stanley.
Lock would be Cousins’ backup in 2021 and could be the projected starter after Cousins departs. Cousins is signed through 2022, carrying a cap hit of $31 million in 2021 and $45 million in 2022. Lock also is signed through 2022 but is on his rookie contract. His cap hit is only $1.9 million in 2021 and $2.2 million in 2022.
Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in the 2019 draft, has started 18 games over the past two seasons. The 24-year-old has thrown for 3,953 yards with 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
Lock threw an NFL-high 15 picks in 13 games last season with 16 touchdowns. Accuracy also has been an issue. Lock has a 59.1 completion percentage in 18 games and last season completed 57.3 percent of his passes.
The Broncos made a trade with Carolina on Wednesday to acquire former Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and there are many who feel Denver also will take a QB with their first-round pick in this draft, possibly Trey Lance or Justin Fields.