Folks Are Not Happy about Sam Darnold + Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings signed a new backup quarterback named Sam Darnold on Tuesday morning, and many are displeased.

Folks Are Not Happy about Sam Darnold + Vikings

Darnold could actually start in 2024 if the Vikings rookie-quarterback-to-be isn’t ready for Week 1, but most credible minds have understood over the last year that Darnold is a high-end QB2. In reality, Darnold is the prototypical “bridge quarterback” to the Vikings replacement for Kirk Cousins, who bolted for the Atlanta Falcons’ lure of $180 million on Monday.

Sam Darnold
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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 this April, and the Vikings are extremely likely to obtain one of the men.

Still, some NFL voices sounded off Darnold to Minnesota. And they weren’t tame.

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Founder of, a forefather of fantasy football, and Vikings fan Paul Charchian was particularly confounded and upset about the Darnold acquisition, using the X app, formerly known as Twitter, to post a scathing indictment.

Charchian wrote, “This is your new starting QB, Vikings fans. You don’t pay $10m to a backup — well, you shouldn’t, anyway. Funny how inexpensive the QB position can be when you sign a player nobody else would dare put under center. I’ve been told one thousand times, ‘Wins are a quarterback stat,’ so here you go: 56 career starts, 21 wins. We’re back to the days of starting washed-up journeymen retreads. And that’s how we like it in Minnesota. Sleep easy, Vikings fans. You’ve got the quarterback you wanted. And deserved.”

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Similar sentiments proliferated on the internet regarding Darnold to Vikings. Mark Schipper of 5th Down CFB posted on X, “Not markedly better than Nicky Mullens. His name and the reputation he brings w/him is depressing b/c it makes one feel that one’s team is rinky dink & unserious. Huge downgrade from Kirk Cousins. Vikings are all in on the QB of the future in a draft that might produce one serious, long-term starter. Vikings probably embarking on an extended downturn caused by absence of a star QB.”

Cousins grabbed $45 million annually from the Falcons; Darnold received one year and $10 million from the Vikings. Cousins is the long-term solution in Atlanta; Darnold is a short-term patchover in Minnesota.

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Until the Vikings identify and draft a rookie quarterback — probably in six weeks — the perception of Darnold as a direct replacement for Cousins probably won’t die.

Even if it’s false.

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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