The J.J. McCarthy Controversy Is Dumb

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It started with one tweet from a shadowy Twitter account that folks trust.

The J.J. McCarthy Controversy Is Dumb

On June 11th, a social media account on X, formerly known as Twitter, posted this:

The account has tweeted accurate information in the past, so its track record caused NFL media to run with the legitimacy of a would-be McCarthy holdout if his alleged demands aren’t met. And a few days later, Pioneer Press‘ Charley Walters elevated the rumors, “Rumors persist that the rookie QB wants all of his signing bonus upfront with no deferrals.”

While a McCarthy holdout would certainly be noteworthy, the notion that his development is controversial is dumb. Here’s why.

McCarthy Likely Won’t Play to Start the Season Anyway

Twenty-two years ago, an honest-to-goodness holdout occurred with former Viking Bryant McKinnie. Minnesota chose the mammoth lineman with the seventh overall pick in 2022, and because of a holdout, McKinnie didn’t see the field until Week 9 as a rookie.

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That season, the purple team could’ve used McKinnie in the starting lineup. Without social media for players to get their voices into the national discourse, McKinnie was vilified as selfish and the antithesis of a “team player.” In reality, all McKinnie wanted was a fair contract akin to those drafted in his 1st-Round range. Minnesota oddly played hardball with the man.

Well, the recent McCarthy stuff is markedly different. The Vikings don’t need McCarthy to play Week 1 in September, nor is he really required at all in 2024. That’s what Sam Darnold’s for. All signs point to Darnold out of the gate this season; some even expect a Baker Mayfield-like rebirth from Darnold.

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.

In theory, if McCarthy held out, it simply wouldn’t matter. He is not needed immediately to fulfill QB1 responsibilities. Of course, it would be strange, yet it would not hinder the progress of the 2024 club.

This Guy Is QB1 of the Future; The Vikings Will Figure It Out

Let’s play the hypothetical game for a moment: the rumors are correct, and McCarthy sticks to his guns. Put bluntly — who cares? The Vikings will figure this thing out. Something will give. Either McCarthy caves or the front office will press the button.

Minnesota 2024 NFL Draft. Watch as QB J.J. McCarthy addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Friday. The Vikings traded up one spot on the draftboard with the New York Jets for McCarthy.

McCarthy will be needed around this time next year unless Sam Darnold throws 40 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Summer-of-2024 controversies with the rookie quarterback are essentially moot. They would escalate the moment Darnold is no longer part of the organization.

Additionally, Minnesota generously paid Kirk Cousins for six years, unshy about handing that man guaranteed sums of cash. It won’t suddenly get cheap at the sport’s most important position. Even if McCarthy indeed wanted his signing bonus upfront, well, the Vikings will eventually oblige.

Minnesota 2024 NFL Draft. Watch as QB J.J. McCarthy addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Friday. The Vikings traded up one spot on the draftboard with the New York Jets for McCarthy.

Someone will compromise, and Minnesota has more than enough time to mitigate the matter. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah didn’t draft a quarterback of the future just to tell the masses, “Well, this guy wants too much of his signing bonus, so he won’t be playing for us.”

All of this is really nothingburger. There’s also McCarthy’s attendance at all team functions this spring and summer. If a holdout is brewing, McCarthy’s camp isn’t managing it well or at least isn’t standing too firm.

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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