NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Thursday that the Vikings tried to trade with the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 22 to draft Manziel, but the Cleveland Browns made a better offer. The Vikings rated the Texas A&M signal-caller as the top quarterback on their board, according to team sources.
It could be a failed trade that makes Vikings fans wince with every Fran Tarkenton-esque play Johnny Football makes in Cleveland.
"I was just able to establish relationships with Rick Spielman, the GM, coach (Norv) Turner, the offensive coordinator, and Scott (Turner), the quarterbacks coach," Bridgewater told NFL Media's Deion Sanders. "So I felt very comfortable that I was going to end up in Minnesota, someway, somehow."
General manager Rick Spielman could have taken Manziel at No. 9, but opted to give coach Mike Zimmer the talented, but raw, pass rusher Anthony Barr of UCLA. Perhaps Spielman was gun-shy after reaching for Christian Ponder in 2011.
In lieu of grabbing the flashy Manziel, Spielman sent a second-round pick (No. 40 overall) and a fourth-rounder (No. 108) to the Seattle Seahawks to close out the first round with Bridgewater.
Several teams believed that Bridgewater was the most NFL-ready quarterback, despite some question marks. His college tape was better than other quarterback prospects. Also, Adrian Peterson running the ball won't hurt a young quarterback one bit.
Bridgewater could take a proverbial redshirt season behind Matt Cassel as he learns Turner's offense.
The Vikings might have whiffed on Manziel, but Bridgewater was a great consolation prize for a franchise still trying to get over the missed Ponder pick.