In 9 Months, Get Ready for Another Loud Vikings Rumor

Vikings Trade Theory
Quarterback Kyler Murray sits in the front row as Jonathan Gannon is introduced as the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals during a news conference at the Cardinals training facility in Tempe on Feb. 16, 2023. Nfl New Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon. © Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Do you think the Minnesota Vikings will win a Super Bowl in 2023? Awesome — maybe they will.

But oddsmakers do not believe, assigning the purple and gold team an 8.5-win forecast for Kevin O’Connell’s sequel season. Accordingly, there’s a very palpable chance the Vikings do not win a chip, like 30 other NFL teams.

In 9 Months, Get Ready for Another Loud Vikings Rumor

And that means ‘what they should do next’ talking points will spring up after the Vikings final 2023 game, essentially guaranteed to target the quarterback position. For now, Kirk Cousins is under contract through the end of 2023 — and then that’s it.

If Cousins walks via free agency next March — probably to the San Francisco 49ers — Vikings fans will spin every theory imaginable for the next guy at QB1. When that happens, expect Kyler Murray to be at the conversation’s forefront.

In 9 Months
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

Murray won’t be a free agent like Cousins or anything close to it; he’s under contract in Arizona until the end of 2028. But his guaranteed cash runs out after the 2024 season, and if the Cardinals, in theory, want to move on after next year, there’s a realistic path via trade.

Why would Arizona trade Murray — or even think about it — with such a ginormous contract attached to his name? Simple. The men who scripted the deal don’t work for the Cardinals anymore. General manager Steve Keim and head coach Kliff Kingsbury no longer hold those job titles.

Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic Nfl Cardinals Vs Seahawks Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

In addition, Murray is injured. He tore his ACL last December, had surgery in January, and is expected to miss at least half of 2023. If the Cardinals don’t rush Murray back, he could be on the shelf for quite some time. Translation: Arizona will play poorly in 2023, and NFL pundits already have the Cardinals basement-dwelling in power rankings. This could lead to high draft picks next April.

Moreover, this is the same franchise that put Josh Rosen in the garbage after one season. Kingsbury and friends took over after one year of Rosen and targeted ‘their guy,’ Murray, in 2019. Now, though, Murray could become the victim of the same disloyalty at the start of 2024.

The Cardinals possess their own 1st-Round draft pick in 2024; they have not traded it away. They also hold the Houston Texans’ fancy 1st-Rounder courtesy of the Will Anderson trade. If the Cardinals and Texans stink this season — not a longshot prophecy — Arizona could have two 1st-Round picks in the draft showcasing USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

Switch gears to the Vikings part of the equation, and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah may have an empty QB1 slot on his depth chart next offseason, with the Cardinals looking to end the Murray era in the desert.

It all makes sense.

Minnesota didn’t select a quarterback early in the 2023 NFL Draft. Outside of a Round 5 lottery ticket spent on BYU’s Jaren Hall, there is no Vikings QB contingency plan not named Jaren Hall or Nick Mullens. Should Cousins hit free agency, Minnesota will need a quarterback, and the Cardinals will be selling.

And never forget Murray’s existing Vikings connection — or quasi-fandom.

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).

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