Vikings fans coping with NFL Draft failure by coming after Sean Payton

Vikings fans hate Sean Payton
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos each landed a quarterback in the 1st round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The Vikings jumped up one spot from the 11th pick to the 10th pick in order to draft Michigan's JJ McCarthy while the Denver Broncos stayed at pick #12 overall to take Bo Nix out of Oregon.

Instead of both teams just being happy that they landed new quarterbacks of the future, there's been some hostility on Twitter/X over some comments that Payton made after the first round of the draft. Payton was pretty pleased with himself for taking part in making people believe the Broncos wanted to trade up in the lead-up to the draft. There were a ton of rumors about the Broncos being interested in moving up in the draft, and the discussion even reached the point of people wondering whether or not they would use star cornerback Pat Surtain II to move up into the 3rd or 4th overall slot.

Here is the full quote from Payton when discussing their feeling inside the war room as quarterbacks began flying off the board, and whether they were actually close to trading up or not:

"I was actively involved in trying to pretend we were moving forward. (laughs) In other words, it’s this time of the year. It’s difficult—we want to keep our options open. I would say this for a normal position—and we talked about it—when we’re entering the draft, you might have needs at [pass] rush, edge, tackle or receiver. But when it comes to something this specific relative to the quarterback, you just don’t want others to know that this is their focal point. Oftentimes, you hear this, ‘Well, if they don’t get one here, they can go back and get this one.’ I heard those same comments—when the Chiefs selected [QB] Patrick [Mahomes] and you go back and tune into everything, it was said, ‘Well, they could have got him later.’ No, they couldn’t have. Let’s not worry about—and we all understand managing the draft, but let’s worry about what it’s going to look like three years from now. Three to four years from now, this class will be judged. Make sure we get the right guy there. I agree 100 percent. We were talking about a couple moves and then when Atlanta took Penix, now it was like, ‘Holy cow. Do we have to go up?

So we were paying attention to where the Raiders are. It was a tough 10 or 20 minutes. New York was the team. If New York took a quarterback, we knew then—if the three in the front took theirs, New York would have been the surprise team, and then there’s three waiting for two. Once New York cleared, I’m sure every team we are talking about felt all right. Then Atlanta took a quarterback and that’s the fun part about the draft. You can’t dive into everyone’s draft room to know how they feel about someone."

Sean Payton (via Broncos PR)

This quote was clipped and shared online, and people took part of what Payton said here and decided that it meant he was using the rumor mill to "bait" the Minnesota Vikings into trading up for JJ McCarthy. Clearly, that's not what he's saying here at all, but nobody really ever wants to consider the full context of a quote when there's the shock factor of making a press conference clip mean whatever you want it to mean.

And to Minnesota Vikings fans, Sean Payton is a villain dating back to 2009 when the "Bountygate" scandal knocked Brett Favre out of a playoff game and cost the Vikings maybe their best chance at a Super Bowl in the last 20-plus years. Even though the Vikings got a measure of revenge with the Minneapolis Miracle in the playoffs just a few years ago, that fan base's hatred for Payton runs deep.

They have been accusing Payton of "panic-drafting" Bo Nix as a response to the false accusations of Payton mocking the Vikings and allegedly "baiting" them into taking JJ McCarthy.

The hilarity if you just scroll around Twitter/X for a couple of minutes to see Vikings fans clowning the Broncos for drafting a quarterback that "nobody wants" is that there were reports in the days leading up to the first round that the Vikings would have been okay staying put at picks 11 and 23 and taking Bo Nix at some point.

What's even funnier is that Vikings fans and analysts are accusing the Broncos and Sean Payton of "panic drafting" Bo Nix when their selection of JJ McCarthy -- trading up to get him -- was clearly a backup option to their preference: Selling the farm to trade up for Drake Maye.

The Broncos never said anything to criticize the Vikings for moving up a spot to get JJ McCarthy. What Sean Payton was trying to convey was that the Broncos wanted people to think they were interested in trading up for someone when Bo Nix was always their guy. And they might have even played the board, moving down to get him if not for the Falcons' shocking pick of Michael Penix Jr. at #8 overall.

Perhaps Vikings fans who want to clown Sean Payton for taking Bo Nix at #12 overall should focus on the fact that they failed to land the quarterback they actually wanted and had to settle for the next guy on their list.