Another Report Links Vikings to Underwhelming QB Solution

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The theory kicked up dust a couple of weeks ago, right around the Super Bowl, and now it’s back.

Another Report Links Vikings to Underwhelming QB Solution

In the next two weeks, the Minnesota Vikings must decide on Kirk Cousins’ future, as the 35-year-old is scheduled to hit the open market for the first time since 2018. And as of February 27th, Cousins back for Year No. 7 or exploring free agency could genuinely go either way. It’s a coinflip.

Super Bowl Sunday
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If he leaves, some believe Sam Darnold could become the Vikings’ next quarterback, at least in a bridge capacity.

Pioneer Press’ Charley Walters recently wrote about the possibility, “Atlanta still looks like Cousins’ next destination. Meanwhile, there’s whispering now that the Vikings are considering free agent Sam Darnold, 26, as a bridge QB to replace Cousins before April’s draft. If Cousins leaves, the next step for the Vikings will be determining if they can move up in the draft from No. 11 to take an elite quarterback.”

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The San Francisco 49ers employed Darnold as a QB2 in 2023, a contingency plan for Brock Purdy. Ultimately, the 49ers reached the Super Bowl with Purdy, and Darnold wasn’t much needed.

Now, however, some believe Darnold could get another crack at a starter’s gig. Minnesota, a franchise that could seek a patchover quarterback if Cousins departs, is evidently a fit. Teams led by Darnold are 21-35 (.375) in 56 career starts, mostly the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers. In six seasons, he’s banked 63 passing touchdowns and 56 interceptions, with 182.8 passing yards per game.

falcons tilt
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NFL.com wrote 2.5 weeks ago about the Darnold-to-Minnesota theory, “If the price tag gets too high, the Vikings likely would pursue a more economical veteran and hope that player becomes this year’s Baker Mayfield — current 49ers backup Sam Darnold, among others, would make sense — while also potentially drafting a QB. (Minnesota owns the No. 11 overall pick).”

On selecting a rookie quarterback, Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2. Minnesota could likely draft Penix Jr., McCarthy, or Nix with its 11th overall pick but would probably have to trade up the board for Williams, Maye, or Daniels.

If the Pioneer Press or NFL.com reporting is correct and the Vikings spring for a quarterback in Round 1, it will be their first time since Teddy Bridgewater in 2014. It’s been 10 years since Minnesota has drafted a quarterback in Round 1 or 2.

Vikings to Underwhelming
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Vikings fans would only embrace Darnold if a clear plan via a rookie accompanied his signing. For example, most would understand the strategy if Minnesota drafted Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy and inked Darnold as the patchover combo.

But if it’s “just Darnold,” the outrage would be quite loud.

Darnold will turn 27 in June.


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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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