Vikings Linked with ‘Urgent Need’ at QB in 2024

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You might recall the Minnesota Vikings were a dark-horse franchise to select a quarterback in Round 1 or 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Indeed, the Vikings were linked to Hendon Hooker — all over the place — Will Levis, and even a theoretical trade up the draftboard for Anthony Richardson.

Vikings Linked with ‘Urgent Need’ at QB in 2024

That was all very fun and the pinnacle for what-if and Vikings fans. But then the draft came and went, with Minnesota selecting one quarterback, a 5th-Rounder named Jaren Hall. Men from the 5th Round or later rarely pan out as QB1s, despite folks routinely pointing to the Tom Brady example. The problem, though, is that he’s like the only late-rounder in the last 25 years to climb the NFL into an elite tier.

And because the Vikings have no early-round contingency plan for life after Kirk Cousins, Bleacher Report has flagged Minnesota as a team with an ‘urgent need’ at quarterback. Cousins’ contract is scheduled to run out in about nine months, and he’ll hit free agency if no extension is finagled.

BR defined ‘Prime Candidates to Pursue a New Franchise Quarterback Next Offseason’ last week, and the Vikings made the cut.

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Brad Gagnon explained the Vikings inclusion in the group, “If Kirk Cousins doesn’t get it done again in 2023, there’s no way the Vikings will keep the 34-year-old at whatever premium he’d demand.”

Since joining the Vikings in 2018, Cousins ranks fourth leaguewide in touchdown passes and fifth in passing yards. But those numbers don’t move the needle for all Vikings fans. Many tend to believe a Patrick Mahomes is waiting in the next draft — no matter the year — for Minnesota to grab.

Lottery Ticket QB
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If Cousins, the human pineapple pizza in the court of public opinion, departs next March, Bleacher Report will be vindicated with its ‘urgent need’ schtick. On the Vikings QB depth chart, Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall would be available — and then that’s it. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would hand Hall the baton, trade for a veteran quarterback like Kyler Murray, or draft ‘the next guy’ in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Of course, all of this is moot if Adofo-Mensah extends Cousins’ contract by a year or two. That is allowed; it just hasn’t happened yet. After the draft on April 29th, Adofo-Mensah told reporters, “Kirk doesn’t need to show anything to me. Kirk has played football at a high level before I got to the Minnesota Vikings. Last year, we won 13 games. I don’t know what he would need to prove to me or anybody else.”

Urgent Need
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“Sometimes you come to a place [in contract talks] where you decide, ‘Hey, let’s talk later. This is a solution for now.’ That’s all that’s happened,” Adofo-Mensah said about Cousins’ extension status.

He concluded, “We like where we are at the quarterback position, but every option is open to us going forward. We’re just really excited about Kirk this year. The weapons we’ve added in free agency, the weapons we added in the draft, and we’ll see what happens after that.”

The verdict? It boils down to this on the Bleacher Report urgent definition criteria:

  1. If the Vikings don’t extend Cousins, the QB1 need is urgent.
  2. If they extend Cousins, it is not.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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