2 Former Vikings QBs Hit Free Agency

Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) calls a play during the second quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Cutdown day is hard for NFL decision-makers but even worse for NFL players who miss out on the 53-man rosters. The Vikings waived edge-rusher Luiji Vilain and running back DeWayne McBride, perhaps the two most surprising moves. The three rostered quarterbacks are Kirk Cousins, Nick Mullens, and Jaren Hall. Others weren’t so lucky.

2 Former Vikings QBs Hit Free Agency

A couple of ex-Vikings passers didn’t make their team and are searching for a new job. The Cincinnati Bengals released Trevor Siemian and the Arizona Cardinals David Blough. Both are vested veterans, so they aren’t subject to waivers and are unrestricted free agents, available to sign with any team.

2 Former Vikings QBs Hit Free Agency
Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) looks to pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran QB Trevor Siemian was employed by the Vikings in 2018 as Kirk Cousins’ backup in his first season with the organization. Siemian was originally a seventh-round pick of the Denver Broncos, and he carved out a nice career despite his late-round draft status.

The Northwestern product stayed with Denver for three seasons and started 24 games for the organization, trying to fill Peyton Manning’s void for almost a decade. He dropped 30 passing touchdowns and 24 interceptions in his tenure with the Broncos and was acquired by Rick Spielman in March 2018 for a late-round pick swap.

He joined the Jets after one season in Minnesota, in which he didn’t see the field all year because of Cousins’ durability, to be Sam Darnold’s backup. Darnold missed time with Mono, and Siemian was supposed to replace him. A late hit from former first-overall pick Myles Garrett ended that theory just one week later, and his season was over in Week 2.

Nov 21, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Trevor Siemian (15) scores on a 17-yard touchdown run against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

His next stint came with the Tennessee Titans on the practice squad and with the Saints because of an injury to Drew Brees, and he started some games with decent success as he threw for 11 passing TDs and 3 INTs, which was enough to earn him another backup job in Chicago in the 2022 season.

As an experienced NFL quarterback with 30 starts under his belt, Siemian should find a job as a backup somewhere, and at the very least, he will be a practice squad or emergency QB in the NFL.

David Blough is not as experienced and talented, and it could be a problem for him to find a way onto a 53-man roster. The Vikings enjoyed his presence in 2022 when he was on the team’s practice squad until the Cardinals poached him.

Former Viking Can Reach Hero Status in Minnesota
Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings quarterback David Blough. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Blough is a smart player, so savvy that he helped his former Lions teammate T.J. Hockenson study the playbook after the Vikings made a trade to acquire the tight end. And he did his job so well that Hockenson dominated in his first game with the Vikings in a victory over the Commanders, and he played a crucial part in that game.

He was a QB of the Detroit Lions for a while after he entered the league undrafted out of Purdue. His first stint, however, was with the Cleveland Browns, who traded him after his first preseason to the Lions. The QB then spent three seasons in Detroit as a backup for Matthew Stafford. On Thanksgiving in 2019, Blough was named starter against the Bears because Stafford and backup Jeff Driskel were hurt. His first NFL completion was a 75-yard touchdown to Kenny Golladay.

One week later, in Week 14, he faced the Vikings and finished the game with one touchdown and two interceptions in a losing effort. In seven games for the Lions, including five starts, Blough passed for only 4 touchdowns and had 7 interceptions.

Jan 1, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough (17) throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Following the 2022 preseason, the Lions waived him to get down to their 53-man roster and to make room for former Eagles QB Nate Sudfeld. The Vikings added Blough to their practice squad as the virtual QB3 behind Cousins and Mullens.

On December 14, the Cardinals signed him off the Vikings practice squad after Kyler Murray’s knee injury, where he started the final two games of the season — a close loss against the Falcons and a blowout loss against the 49ers after Colt McCoy was out with a concussion and Trace McSorley, the third QB on the roster didn’t show any NFL throwing ability. Blough scored twice and was picked off twice in the two games combined.

In a crowded but still bad QB room in Arizona, with Murray hurt and a bunch of backup-level guys, Blough got some run in the preseason, but it wasn’t enough to stick around. He is likely an emergency QB to join a team if a player or two go down or a practice squad guy.

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