Vikings Included in Bleacher Report Naughty List

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings fans might be enthused about the team’s direction after parting ways with Kirk Cousins in March and drafting J.J. McCarthy in April.

Vikings Included in Bleacher Report Naughty List

But the excitement may not be widespread.

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports.

This week, the Vikings found their way to Bleacher Report‘s list of the NFL’s worst quarterback situations, checking in at No. 11, just above the New Orleans Saints, a team featuring Derek Carr, Spencer Rattler, and Jake Haener.

Minnesota signed Sam Darnold about 12 hours after Cousins left for the Atlanta Falcons, and Darnold is on tap to start Week 1 unless something drastically changes this summer.

bleacher report
Minnesota quarterback Sam 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.

BR’s Ryan Fowler wrote about the Vikings’ quarterback situation entering training camp: “With Kirk Cousins gone, it soon will be J.J. McCarthy’s time to run the show in Minnesota. However, he isn’t guaranteed to start in Week 1. While the Vikings traded up one pick for McCarthy during the 2024 draft, the rookie has primarily worked behind veteran Sam Darnold in preseason workouts.”

McCarthy turned 21 in January, and most believed he’d sit on the bench indefinitely to watch and learn until deemed ready for the bright lights of the regular season by the Vikings’ coaching staff. And that plan seems to be in full effect after head coach Kevin O’Connell named Darnold the de facto QB1 for the summer.

J.J. McCarthy
Minnesota quarterback J.J. McCarthy at the first day of rookie minicamp on May 10th, 2024, in Eagan, Minnesota. TCO Performance Center. McCarthy was drafted by the Vikings with the 10th overall pick on April 25th, 2024, in Detroit.

“If the Vikings stumble early with Darnold under center, they could hand the keys to McCarthy earlier than expected. For both Darnold and McCarthy, the supporting cast in Minnesota couldn’t get much better. Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison headline the wide receiver room,” Fowler continued. “Aaron Jones will contribute in multiple facets and work behind a front five headlined by tackle Christian Darrisaw. If the Vikings are to raise an NFC North banner this year, it’ll be on Darnold and McCarthy to elevate Minnesota’s offensive ceiling.”

Fowler also curiously included the Falcons on his naughty quarterback situation list — one step ahead of Minnesota at No. 12. He claimed that Falcons fans will eventually want to see rookie Michael Penix Jr. on the field instead of Cousins. Stay tuned.

Vikings Successfully
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

On the whole, if one doesn’t have the patience for McCarthy’s development, yes, the Vikings’ quarterback plan could be classified as one the “worst in the NFL.” However, the alternative was re-upping with Cousins for $45 million per season, an experiment that fetched one playoff win in six years.

Otherwise, for those seeking change, Minnesota is precisely where it needs to be — in position to grow a rookie quarterback on an affordable contract for the next five years.

Fowler named the New York Giants the NFL team with the worst quarterback situation, followed by the Las Vegas Raiders as second worst.

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 MIN 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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