Persistence paid in Vikings’ deal with Seahawks

Posted May 12, 2014

The art of the deal: Everyone could see the trade coming, but when it came time for the Seahawks to deal their way out of the first round in the NFL Draft the Vikings were the most persistent partner.

There are two sides to every trade, obviously, or there wouldn't be a trade.

That was indeed the case at the end of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft on Thursday night, when the Seahawks traded the final pick in the opening round to the Minnesota Vikings. The Seahawks trading out of the first round was not a surprise, it was just a matter of which team would want to jump back into the round to select one of the remaining quarterbacks.

It was, as it turned out, the Vikings. They selected Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, while the Seahawks moved down eight spots – and then traded that 40th pick overall to the Detroit Lions, moving down five spots and also adding picks in the fourth and seventh rounds.

But back to the top – or bottom of the top, as was the case. For passing on making a selection in the first round, the Seahawks ended up with four players. First, there was Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson at No. 45. The Seahawks then traded the fourth-round pick they got from the Vikings (No. 111 overall) to the Cincinnati Bengals for their pick in the fourth round (123) and a seventh-round pick (199), which were used to draft Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood and Marshall tackle Garrett Scott. At No. 227 overall, with the seventh-round pick from the Lions, the Seahawks selected Arkansas fullback Kiero Small.

In Minnesota, meanwhile, there were some who thought the Vikings gave up too much to move up for Bridgewater. But general manager Rick Spielman was not among them.

"The secondturned into a first, so all you did was give up a fourth-round pick," Spielman told reporters who cover the Vikings. "So now, it was a deal that we felt was very important to try to get back into the first (round) to get one of those quarterbacks. And a lot of it had to do with not only do we like the player, but getting that fifth-year option. You only get four-year deals after the first round."

The Vikings made the deal with the Seahawks, but the Seahawks were not the only team the Vikings talked to about a possible deal and the Vikings were not the only team that Seahawks had conversations with while on the clock.

"We talked to everybody," Spielman said. "We usually – the last three years we've been able to trade back into the first round – we start usually around pick No. 20 and start calling teams to see if anyone would be interested. There were some previous conversations with a lot of team, and once Seattle was on the clock, we were able to finalize the deal."

Spielman and Seahawks GM John Schneider had done business before. Last year, they worked a trade where the Seahawks got wide receiver Percy Harvin and the Vikings got the Seahawks' first-round and seventh-round picks in 2013 and their third-round pick this year. The Vikings used those picks to select defensive back Xavier Rhodes (the 25th pick overall last year) and running back Jerick McKinnon (the 96th pick overall this year).

The Seahawks ended up with dynamic receivers in Harvin and Richardson, among others.

"We were blessed," Schneider said. "That's exactly what we were hoping for and we were talking to a number of teams down there at the end and Minnesota stayed with it so we did it with them.

"They were just real persistent so it worked out great."