Subtract Any “Bridge QB” Talk from Your Vikings Ideas

A Minnesota Vikings fan signals for a first down during a game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Vikings won the game, 24-10. © Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Minnesota Vikings have several quarterback options for the 2024 season, which kicks off in seven months.

Subtract Any “Bridge QB” Talk from Your Vikings Ideas

It’s a crucial offseason as the purple team hopes to ixnay the “rebuild” section from its competitive rebuild slogan, three years into an experiment pioneered by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

Subtract Any
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These are Minnesota’s QB options:

  1. Re-sign Kirk Cousins and draft no quarterback
  2. Re-sign Kirk Cousins and draft a quarterback
  3. Trade for a veteran like Justin Fields; Cousins not re-signed
  4. Draft a quarterback and start Nick Mullens as a patchover quarterback
  5. Draft a quarterback and sign a different patchover quarterback

While all options are in play until the decision on Cousins is announced, the Vikings should avoid No. 5

a Pivotal Vikings
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Why? Well, they don’t need a “bridge quarterback.” The team already has Cousins in its orbit, plus Nick Mullens.

Some Vikings-themed media has suggested the franchise should explore Baker Mayfield, for example, as a bridge quarterback. On paper, that would probably work. But after Mayfield’s successful 2023 campaign, he will fetch about $30 million, at minimum, per season on the open market. If the Vikings want to spend that cash on a veteran passer — just keep Cousins and add about $10 million to the deal.

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Otherwise, if a bridge quarterback is — for some reason — absolutely required to accompany a passer drafted in Round 1, Mullens would do the trick for a few weeks. Vikings fans soured on Mullens’ reckless playing style, but truth be told, if Minnesota’s defense didn’t die the moment he took over, the club likely would’ve split or possessed a winning record on his watch. Never forget: The Vikings 2023 defense died during Mullens’ first start at the Cincinnati Bengals and never recovered in December or January.

Meanwhile, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Vikings cannot be ruled out of the budding Russell Wilson Sweepstakes. “League sources see several logical fits for Wilson, who could thrive in an offense that schemes clearly defined throws off play-action and the running game. Don’t be surprised if Wilson, should he become a free agent, is intrigued by Minnesota, assuming Kirk Cousins doesn’t re-sign with the Vikings (a big if),” Fowler wrote earlier this month.

Turnover Woes
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Wilson could be incredibly affordable — he can sign a small contract this offseason since he has guaranteed cash from the Denver Broncos — but why bother with Wilson if the Vikings draft a quarterback in the 1st Round? Increasingly in the NFL, teams can identify “their guy” in Round 1, draft him, and then let ‘er rip in the regular season.

The Vikings already have two bridge options at quarterback named Cousins and Mullens. They could even re-sign Joshua Dobbs for cheap if a bridge quarterback were mandatory. They don’t need to sign $30+ million on Baker Mayfield or sign Russell Wilson just to meander through the regular season.

Be bold and trust the rookie quarterback, whoever that may be.

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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