Familiar But Annoying Vikings QB Rumor Has Returned

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All eyes are on Kirk Cousins and his looming free agency decision. He will be eligible to negotiate with teams on March 11, and contracts can be signed two days later. A return for a seventh season in Minnesota is possible, although the rumors of him joining the Atlanta Falcons have prevailed since the scouting combine.

Familiar But Annoying Vikings QB Rumor Has Returned

Familiar But Annoying Vikings QB Rumor Has Returned
Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt (95) and cornerback Keisean Nixon (25) sack Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) during their football game Sunday, December 31, 2023, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. © Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK.

If he indeed leaves, who will be the next man up in Minnesota? The guys under contract for another season are Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall. Mullens was a turnover machine for the Vikings, although the offense was at least capable with him under center, while Hall got hurt in his first start and was benched for Mullens in his second one after a disastrous first half versus Green Bay.

Entering the season with only those two guys would be a disservice to all Vikings fans, and it isn’t very likely to happen. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would be foolish not to draft a quarterback early in April’s event, or at least the acquisition of a talented veteran must be considered. Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield are, next to Cousins, the other big-name passers on the market.

Also possible is trading for someone. A pair of 2021 picks have surfaced in some rumors. Bears starter Justin Fields was named by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler as the potential next QB1 in Minnesota.

Can Upgrade with Trey
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A player in the same draft class, Trey Lance, has made regular appearances in the purple rumor mill, and of course, like clockwork, Monday was the day it resurfaced. Rich Eisen, a popular host on NFL Network, said on his podcast The Rich Eisen Show on Monday:

I heard this rumor that a possible solve at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings is a native of the state. His name is Trey Lance. The Cowboys kept him up on the roster long enough to get a bonus. So they’re paying the money to keep him and as you know, they got him for a five, I’m just wondering if the Vikings flip them a three, a Friday night pick. Do they go ahead and do that?

Every imaginable quarterback is now linked to Minnesota by someone’s opinion or gossip. Lance was the third overall pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2021. Trading up for him was a massive mistake. Injuries kept him off the field for the majority of his first two seasons before they sent him to Dallas for a fifth-rounder. The emergence of Brock Purdy (and the lack of growth) made him redundant, and he had to move on.

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Lance was barely active on gameday as Cooper Rush was the QB2 behind Dak Prescott and didn’t see the field all year. Through three seasons, Lance has appeared in eight games and made four starts. The former NDSU prospect has thrown for 797 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions and rushed for 235 yards and another score.

Coming out of college, Lance has only started one season in 2019 due to the COVID-shortened season that allowed him to play only one game in 2020, and his few collegiate contests were against subpar competition. His 30 to 1 TD to INT ratio didn’t translate to the NFL. The vision was to get an athletic QB with a strong arm who doesn’t turn the ball over and help him turn into another weapon in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, but it has failed miserably.

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Lance could still develop into a starting quarterback (he is only 23 years old), but that seems unlikely at this point. In the last four seasons (three in the NFL and one in college), Lance started five games and was considered a project before that.

The hometown connections are a nice story, but acquiring him to start for the franchise would be a foolish move. Sending a late-rounder to Dallas and trying to develop him into a capable quarterback in practice is a fair idea, but expecting him to be anything close to a solution is something that gets a GM fired.

Lance hasn’t shown anything in three years in the NFL. It’s time to put any Lance/Vikings talkers to rest until he does.

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