The Vikings Didn’t Inquire about Young QB after All

Expectations for
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah talks with head coach Kevin O’Connell prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Fans of both teams and NFL media personalities have fantasized about a potential quarterback swap between the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings for years.

The driving force is usually Kirk Cousins and his relationship with his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan who pounded the table for Washington to draft him in 2012. But Cousins hasn’t been the only passer in those trade ideas in 2023.

The Vikings Didn’t Inquire about Young QB After All

Inquire About Young QB After All
Sep 9, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) talks with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) following the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

It really is an annual theme in NFL media. Cousins to the 49ers is a popular topic, especially because the 49ers are seemingly a quarterback away while the Vikings appear to be in a semi-competing phase or competitive rebuild. They want to be in the mix but don’t go all in – other than the 49ers when they traded up nine spots in the 2021 draft to select Trey Lance out of NDSU with the third overall pick.

Mike Florio from Profootballtalk reported one week before the draft in April that the Vikes and the 49ers had trade talks concerning Lance during the draft combine.

However, now a conflicting report came out from Adam Schefter, who appeared on the Pat McAfee Show. He said: “There never was really a lot of interest in Trey Lance. There was no trade market, and Kyle Shanahan has said that they didn’t have any trade talks with teams.”

Only one of the two can be right. The Vikings always committed to Cousins for the 2023 campaign. Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said that Cousins is their guy in the upcoming season. However, Lance could have been an intriguing project for the future after a year as Cousins’ backup.

September 18, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) passes the football against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor (52) during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The young QB was supposed to change their offense and add a dangerous dual-threat quarterback to Shanahan’s dynamic scheme. Two seasons in, that pick has been a disaster. The 49ers gave up three first-rounders, and it hasn’t worked out. Of course, Lance is still only 23 years old, but the early results haven’t been pretty.

Lance was viewed as a raw prospect with great potential because of his dual-threat ability. The quarterback started only one season for NDSU in 2019. His 2020 season was limited to only one game because of COVID-19.

In that one season, Lance threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns, and didn’t throw a single interception. Lance added 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. His ability to make big plays, take care of the ball, and scramble made him the third overall pick despite the small sample size.

To start his NFL career, he lost the competition for the starting spot to Jimmy Garoppolo. He appeared in six games, mainly as a gadget player who came in to run the ball. Lance replaced Garoppolo in two games as the starter when he was hurt and began the 2022 campaign at the top of the depth chart.

Unfortunately, Lance fractured his ankle in the season’s second game and required surgery. His campaign ended in that game against the Seattle Seahawks.

He threw for 797 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions in his limited snaps in the two years with the 49ers and rushed for 235 yards and another score.

Wildcard Playoff Predictions
Jan 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) throws a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally to his suspect play comes the emergence of Brock Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 draft. He came in for the injured Lance and Garoppolo last season and blew everyone away. The scary offense was even more efficient with him under center, and he is the frontrunner to be the starter if he is recovered from his elbow injury at that point.

Regardless, Lance to Minnesota will not happen this year, but the same rumors will make a comeback in about seven months, so be prepared.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt