Vikings Offhandedly Linked to Matthew Stafford

Sep 8, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) prepares to take the snap against the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium. The Bills defeated the Rams 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

This can be filed under What You Didn’t Expect to Read during the Vikings 2023 Offseason.

For now, Minnesota is committed to quarterback Kirk Cousins for just one more season, a first-of-its-kind situation with the 34-year-old amid his purple tenure. Cousins, before now, has always had at least two years on his deal at this point on an offseason calendar.

Vikings Offhandedly Linked to Matthew Stafford

But general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah appears to have an optional off-ramp scheduled for Cousins, who would hit free agency in nine months if no extension is reached before March. That also means by January or February of 2024, every quarterback theory under the sun will be linked to Minnesota via the rumor mill.

Well,‘s Conor Orr kickstarted that conversation this week, releasing an article detailing 100 bold NFL predictions for 2023, and among them was an offhanded theory that Matthew Stafford would join the Vikings.

Offhandedly Linked
Oct 9, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Stafford is on deck as the Los Angeles Rams QB1 — why wouldn’t he be? — but if something happens to Cousins, expect the Vikings to perhaps ‘make the call.’

Orr explained, “I think Stafford and McVay will someday end up somewhere on a sideline coaching together. The mutual respect they have is evident. So much so that I can’t imagine McVay wanting to keep Stafford on the roster if the team isn’t going to be competitive in the very near future.”

McVay and Stafford — plus Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell — won a Super Bowl together in 2021. Then 2022 arrived, and the wheels indisputably spiraled off as Los Angeles produced a 5-12 record.

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates with his wife Kelly Stafford after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Orr then connected Stafford to the Vikings, “Just about every team has a McVay guy on staff and, thus, a not-so-difficult process of ferrying Stafford across the country to a title contender. Perhaps the Vikings will sustain an injury at the quarterback position or are starting to get serious about life after Kirk Cousins. Just an example.

Starting Friday at midnight CST, Stafford can be traded for somewhat generous cap savings, and Orr’s theory would be predicated on the Rams continuing to struggle in 2023, plus the Cousins theoretical injury. Cousins has never missed a game in his career to an ailment not called COVID.

Purple Rumor Mill: "This Year's Stafford," Anthony Harris, Cousins over Lamar?
Jun 10, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) talks to offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell during an offseason workout at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports.

The idea would make sense if the Vikings are 7-1 or so at the time of the NFL’s trade deadline, the Rams are aimless, and Minnesota believes it is a quarterback away from the Super Bowl. Otherwise, Cousins and Stafford are virtually the same quarterbacks statistically, but Stafford has always been more highly regarded than Cousins by the media. Then, he won the championship with McVay and O’Connell 16 months ago with the Los Angeles dream team, and his legacy was cemented forever.

Stafford to Vikings is unlikely to come to fruition, but at least Orr is on record for an ‘I told ya so’ if Cousins falls injured.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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