Vikings Suggested to Trade for Young Quarterback

Expectations for
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah talks with head coach Kevin O’Connell prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Kirk Cousins is in the final year of his contract for the first time since he joined the Minnesota Vikings in free agency in 2018. Extension talks are paused until next offseason. But no matter if he stays with the team longer, the Vikings must find his successor at some point, as he will turn 35 years old next month. That can happen in the draft or via trade.

Vikings Suggested to Trade for Young Quarterback

One theory has been active for a while now. Cousins joins his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco and becomes the 49ers quarterback. Their former third-overall pick Trey Lance would become available in that scenario. And guess what, Bleacher Report proposes the Vikings as his future team.

Vikings Suggested to Trade for Young Quarterback
September 18, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) passes the football against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor (52) during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Lance could be available as the 49ers turn to Brock Purdy as their starter. He came out of nowhere as a seventh-round pick and led the team to the NFC Championship Game with some fantastic performances before an injury kicked him out of the game. Alex Ballentine from Bleacher Report suggests a swap of Lance for a 2024 third-round pick and a 2025 fifth-rounder.

The Minnesota Vikings need an off-ramp for the Kirk Cousins era. The veteran quarterback will be 35 before the season starts, and the team continues to push more of his money into the future in the form of void years.

The problem is that this is a team that shouldn’t be bad enough in the foreseeable future to be in position to draft a blue-chip quarterback prospect. That would require a massive trade like the one the San Francisco 49ers did to move from No. 12 to 3 in the 2021 draft. Or they could give up much less to take on the very quarterback the Niners did that move for.

Trey Lance remains a man of mystery for the most part. Between waiting behind Jimmy Garoppolo and suffering a season-ending ankle injury, he’s only attempted a little over 100 passes and made four starts. Now the Niners have Brock Purdy, who has been cleared for training camp and appears to be the starter. They also signed Sam Darnold. That’s not a huge sign of confidence in Lance and could make a trade more likely.

Alex Ballentine, Bleacher Report
Jul 27, 2023; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) looks before throwing a pass during training camp at the SAP Performance Facility. Mandatory Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports.

Lance is indeed still a mystery, but nothing of his three-year career has been encouraging. Injuries have been piling up, and not beating out other guys is also a concern. If Shanahan, one of the greatest offensive minds in the league, is willing to move on from Lance, there is no reason to assume that Lance could become a franchise quarterback.

The young QB was supposed to change their offense and add a dangerous dual-threat quarterback to Shanahan’s dynamic scheme. Two seasons in, that pick has been a disaster. The 49ers gave up three first-rounders, and it hasn’t worked out. Of course, Lance is still only 23 years old, but the early results haven’t been pretty.

Lance was viewed as a raw prospect with great potential because of his dual-threat ability. The quarterback started only one season for NDSU in 2019. His 2020 season was limited to only one game because of COVID-19.

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Brigham Young quarterback Jaren Hall (QB06) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

In that one season, Lance threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns, and didn’t throw a single interception. Lance added 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. His ability to make big plays, take care of the ball, and scramble made him the third overall pick despite the small sample size.

Minnesota spent a fifth-round pick in Jaren Hall in April’s draft. Hall is the low-cost developmental quarterback in the building, and there’s no reason to expect the Vikings to add a second one, especially because Hall is reportedly looking solid in training camp. The theory of finding a talented QB as a trade target for a couple of mid-round picks is enticing, but Lance is the wrong player at the wrong time for that to happen. If the Vikings had an interest in acquiring Lance, that trade would’ve happened before the draft. Trading for a raw prospect with injury concerns and a questionable throwing ability doesn’t seem like a smart move for the Vikings.

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