COSTA MESA, Calif. — In the weeks leading up to the NFL draft, the Los Angeles Chargers received trade inquiries for star quarterback Justin Herbert from the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings but quickly turned down both requests, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz confirmed Thursday that he fielded inquiries about Herbert but did not specify which teams contacted him.

“Justin who?” Hortiz said with a smile. “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.”

The potential blockbuster trade would have been a costly one for the Chargers, who would have had to take on a $63.5 million salary cap charge for the 2024 season if they traded Herbert.

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The Chargers signed Herbert in July to a five-year, $262.5 million extension that included $133.7 million in full guarantees and $193.7 million in injury guarantees.

The Patriots and Vikings, meanwhile, both pivoted to the draft for their franchise quarterbacks. New England selected Drake Maye with the No. 3 pick, while the Vikings took J.J. McCarthy after trading with the New York Jets to move up one spot to No. 10.

Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, when asked about Minnesota’s reported inquiry into Herbert’s availability, said he didn’t “know where this stuff comes from.”

“I wish I could tell you how much joy we get from seeing the stuff that gets written. … Those aren’t things that come out of this building,” Adofo-Mensah said Thursday. “I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know where this stuff comes from. Sometimes it works out in our favor. I can’t even respond.”

Since Hortiz and coach Jim Harbaugh were hired in February, Herbert has often sounded like an afterthought in the team’s public comments. Hortiz and Harbaugh have talked about building the rushing offense and planning to dominate teams through that front.

Running game coordinator and tight ends coach Andy Bischoff said the Chargers are an offensive line-centric team, one where offensive linemen are the superstars and everyone else will “fall in line.”

But the comments have come only because the Chargers know that they have one of the league’s best at the quarterback position in Herbert.

Hortiz has often briefly mentioned, when discussing the Chargers’ roster, that they “know what they have” at quarterback and how Herbert’s place in Los Angeles was one of the main reasons he took the job. The swift trade inquiry denials for Herbert support that.

Harbaugh, Hortiz and the rest of the organization are hoping that the rushing offense they build with their fifth pick, offensive lineman Joe Alt, will make Herbert an even better player.

“Can you imagine Justin Herbert with a great running game?” offensive coordinator Greg Roman asked.