Vikings Mentioned as Russell Wilson’s Potential Next Employer

Next QB Already
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The Minnesota Vikings faced their nemesis Russell Wilson in Week 11 when they suffered a costly loss against the passer and his Broncos. Minnesota started Joshua Dobbs after a couple of phenomenal performances in which he looked like a candidate to start for the 2024 Vikings, and Wilson turned back the clock, looking like his prime self on his game-winning drive.

Vikings Mentioned as Russell Wilson’s Potential Next Employer

Since then, head coach Kevin O’Connell has benched Dobbs for Nick Mullens and is already looking for his replacement. Perhaps rookie Jaren Hall will get his chance on Sunday versus the Green Bay Packers to keep the postseason dream alive.

Vikings Mentioned as Russell Wilson's Potential Next Employer
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But things also look different in Denver as they decided to bench Russell Wilson to start his backup, Jarrett Stidham, a 2019 fourth-rounder of the New England Patriots. After a stint in Las Vegas last year, where he superseded Derek Carr in a similar situation, he joined the Broncos. Stidham now gets his shot as Sean Payton’s QB for two games.

Meanwhile, Wilson doesn’t seem to be in the organization’s plans. Releasing him would trigger $85 million in dead cap, and even a trade would be a terrible financial decision. However, keeping him would guarantee even more money, so they might have to release him regardless.

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There’s usually not a huge demand for 35-year-old passers who are obviously declining, but Bleacher Report’s Joseph Zucker found four dream landing spots, and he included the Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings would offer the same luxury (of having weapons around Wilson), though Justin Jefferson’s contract status will continue to carry a cloud over the organization.

Jefferson is signed for one more season with a $19.7 million salary coming his way in 2024. Should extension negotiations hit an impasse, the Vikings could decide trading him is the only course of action.

T.J. Hockenson’s torn ACL and MCL were unwelcome surprises as well and present another question throughout the offseason, one in which Minnesota will be in search of a new quarterback with Kirk Cousins becoming a free agent.

Re-signing Jefferson may make acquiring Wilson difficult due to what the latter is presently earning and what the latter is likely to earn. But few teams are likely to be more attractive than the Vikings if they can retain their full complement of skill position stars.

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If the Vikes move on from Kirk Cousins but don’t want to put their hopes into a rookie signal-caller, Wilson would undoubtedly be the potential successor with the highest star factor. Minnesota is the ideal landing spot for every quarterback as they have an offensive-minded head coach with a fantastic scheme and many weapons, including superstar wideout Justin Jefferson.

Wilson ranks 17th of 40 eligible QBs according to PFF and has posted the 12th-best EPA/Play in 2023 after a disappointing 2022 campaign. Of course, playing for offensive mastermind Payton helps to mask some flaws.

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The quarterback was one of the league’s top quarterbacks for years but declined in his mid-30s and is playing at an average level. That could be good enough to keep Minnesota relevant but is not what the organization needs to claim the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy.

Wilson should be considered an unlikely longshot to suit up for the Vikings in 2024. If they want to continue employing a 35-year-old quarterback, that will, without any doubt, be Cousins, especially considering how everyone in the organization has talked about him since his season-ending injury.

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