Suspended QB Forecasted as Possible Vikings Solution

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Looking for an out-of-left-field way to kickstart the post-Kirk Cousins era for the Minnesota Vikings? How about a suspended quarterback?

Suspended QB Forecasted as Possible Vikings Solution

The Vikings, at least in theory, have been tied to every available quarterback so far this offseason, and with free agency two weeks away, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the latest.

Suspended QB
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The Athletic published an article late last week detailing landing spots for Garoppolo, who will be released by the Raiders before too long. The man will also begin the 2024 season unable to play due to a PED violation, so there’s that.

The Vikings certainly weren’t alone — they made a list of nine possible spots for Garappolo — but Vic Tafur explained the Minnesota angle for Garoppolo, “If they decide not to welcome back Kirk Cousins with $30-plus million a year, may we suggest the poor man’s Cousins? He could spray the ball around in Kevin O’Connell’s offense until a later draft pick is ready to play.”

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Garoppolo quarterbacked Las Vegas for six games in 2023 and performed terribly by his standards. He accounted for a 7-touchdown to 9-interception split, producing a lowly 33.6 QBR. Unsurprisingly, the veteran passer was then hobbled by an injury — that happens frequently to Garoppolo — and unsung rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell took over the reins of QB1 and never handed them back.

Evidently, the working theory for Garoppolo and the Vikings (or his next team, in general) is that the 2024 team will weather the storm of his suspension, pray he stays healthy, and also win a bunch of games along the way. The recipe sounds like a longshot for success.

the Radar
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Tafur also wrote about Garoppolo’s upcoming availability on the free-agent market, “[Garoppolo] says he is hungry and fully healthy — and one has to believe the injuries played a part in his going from good to awful — and he has been one of the most popular players in the locker room at his stops with the 49ers and Raiders. Brock Purdy and O’Connell praised Garoppolo for his help in getting them ready to play every week.”

Minnesota has oodles of options at quarterback next season — re-signing Kirk Cousins, trading for Justin Fields, signing a patchover quarterback like Russell Wilson, or drafting the next guy in Rounds 1 or 2 — but hopping into bed with a suspended quarterback doesn’t seem sensible. The Vikings would probably use Garoppolo as a “bridge quarterback,” but the bridge would close for business per his current suspension when the bridge was most important: Weeks 1 and 2.

Purple Rumor Mill: Cousins-Niners Fodder, Johnathan Abram, the Big Goon
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If Cousins is not re-signed, or even if he is, expect the Vikings to examine the draft profiles of Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) in April.

Garoppolo will turn 33 in November.

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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