Vikings Defender Contradicts Popular Consensus on QB1 Battle

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J.J. McCarthy with the Minnesota Vikings practice highlights from OTA No. 2 of 2024, which took place at the TCO Performance Center. The Minnesota VIkings used the 10th overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft to select McCarthy after a trade up the board with the New York Jets.

Not so fast.

Vikings Defender Contradicts Popular Consensus on QB1 Battle

That’s the word from Minnesota Vikings safety Camryn Bynum, who claimed last week that the team’s QB1 competition isn’t an open-and-shut ordeal. Until Bynum’s revelation, most fans and pundits have assumed Sam Darnold will be the walkaway winner of the QB1 job in September.

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But Bynum was more judicious — while also stating that his team can win the Super Bowl this season. “Having the two new quarterbacks, it’s fun being able to play against them and see what they bring to the table. They’re both looking really good,” Bynum told NFL Network on June 21st. “It’s exciting to see them compete. They’re both looking good, so I can’t put one over the other. I just say they both look ready. Whatever coaches decide, I trust them and their decision.”

Some might call Bynum’s musings diplomatic lip service — would he really endorse one guy over the other? But on the whole, the positive commentary about McCarthy, who the Vikings found two months ago in the NFL draft, cannot be discouraging.

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Bynum also elevated his team’s stakes for Super Bowl contention, a standalone theory because most fans don’t consider the club a contender in 2024. “I expect a Super Bowl,” Bynum said. “Everybody says that, and everybody should say that. But you look at the guys on the team, you look at the locker room, all the experience we have. Look how much depth we have, especially on the defense. So many guys. It’s almost weird looking around, you’re like, OK how are we all going to get on the field? There’s just so many ballers.”

The Vikings have the eighth-worst odds to win Super Bowl LIX next February, assigned a +8,000 moneyline by oddsmakers, territory shared with the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints.

Minnesota quarterback S. Darnold joins Vikings Entertainment Network’s Gabe Henderson and discusses being coached now by his former New York Jets teammate, Josh McCown, being a big UFC fan, his journey through the NFL and more. Darnold became a Vikings in March 2024 after Kirk Cousins left for the Atlanta Falcons.

On Darnold or McCarthy, those who believe Darnold has the job wrapped up, at least as the Week 1 starter, aren’t spitballing from left field. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said at minicamp a couple of weeks ago, “We haven’t had to put out a depth chart or anything like that, but I would say Sam would be the guy I would look to based on the spring he’s had and, really, where he’s at in his career and his quarterback journey, and what he’s been able to do coming in and [hitting] the ground running and taking advantage of the competitive situation.”

That basically means McCarthy will need a training camp of dreams, a true upset special, to dethrone Darnold for QB1 responsibilities in September.

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Vikings training camp kicks off on June 21st, and fans are welcome about a week later.

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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