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Minnesota Vikings deny Herbert approach after trading up for McCarthy

The Minnesota Vikings have denied reports they attempted an ambitious swoop for Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, having traded up in the draft to take Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

The Vikings were in need of a new quarterback after failing to agree a new contract with Kirk Cousins, who instead penned a four-year, $180million deal with the Atlanta Falcons last month.

They traded up one place for the 10th pick on Thursday to take McCarthy in a first round characterised by a run on quarterbacks, having failed to move up to number three for Drake Maye – who went to the New England Patriots.

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It was subsequently reported that both the Vikings and Patriots had made overtures to the Chargers in the build-up to the draft, with a view to a blockbuster trade for Herbert.

While he refused to name the teams involved, Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz claimed he did field enquiries on Thursday, saying: “Justin who?

“No. No, at the combine I had some people ask me would we consider it, and they were quickly shot down. No, that is never an option.”

His Minnesota counterpart Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was later asked about those reports and denied them outright, saying: “I wish I could tell you how much joy we get from seeing the stuff that gets written.

“Those aren’t things that have come out of this building. I don’t know what to tell you.

“I don’t know where this stuff comes from. Sometimes it works out in our favour. I can’t even respond.”

Minnesota will hope they have found their new franchise quarterback in McCarthy, and while they evaluated plenty of options, Adofo-Mensah believes they got a quarterback with talents to rival any of his peers.

“We’re very big here on quarterbacks and how differently they can impact the game,” Adofo-Mensah said.

“What I can tell you is that he is somebody whose skillset is something we’re really excited about. From a talent standpoint, he was as talented as anybody in the draft.”

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