Is a Different Veteran QB Viable for the Vikings?

Can Set a Season
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When the Minnesota Vikings take the field next season, there will be no position more under the microscope than quarterback. If that’s Kirk Cousins, it will be because he is returning from injury. If it is someone else, it will be wondering if they can do enough to make it work.

Is a Different Veteran QB Viable for the Vikings?

Sadly, the Minnesota Vikings season was put on life support before it even really got started. After a slow burn out of the gate, Kevin O’Connell’s team started to see an upward trajectory. They raced back to the .500 mark, and quarterback Kirk Cousins was playing at an MVP-caliber level. Then, before leaving Green Bay with a victory, Cousins felt a pop, and his season was over.

Is a Different Veteran QB Viable for the Vikings?
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It remained a question as to how the Vikings front office would handle the expiring contract of their experienced signal caller the way it was, but it became even more complicated after he ended the season on injured reserve. The longtime veteran has said all the right things when it comes to a return, but until the dollars make sense and the ink dries, there are no guarantees.

Regardless of who is the starter, Minnesota could opt to bring in a rookie and provide themselves with a succession plan. That still doesn’t mean they have an immediate option, but needing to find that is something we saw become wildly apparent throughout the NFL this season.

So, who could the Vikings turn to if it’s a veteran?

After swinging a deal for Josh Dobbs in an emergency scenario, Joe Flacco ultimately went off the board after signing with the Cleveland Browns. It never seemed logical that he would be the answer, but all he has done is lead Cleveland to a better place than Deshaun Watson has ever provided them, and he became a poster boy for doldrums to destiny.

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There aren’t any other significantly old veterans out there just twisting in the wind, but maybe Flacco will entice the Vikings if he hits the open market. After all, it seems unlikely that the Browns would pay him while being committed to Watson, right? The names that have been around for a while consist of Ryan Tannehill, Tyrod Taylor, Marcus Mariota, Jacoby Brissett, and Jameis Winston. While each has started previously, it seems unlikely that Justin Jefferson would be pleased to have that as the answer under center.

If Minnesota is open to something less conventional, resurrecting Russell Wilson could work. Although he has largely appeared cooked for the Denver Broncos, his name is one expected to join the unemployment line, and the floor is at least somewhat higher than those competing for roles alongside him. O’Connell would need to do significantly better positioning him in ideal scenarios than Sean Payton, but it could work.

In the end, this really seems like a scenario in which dealing with a known commodity makes much more sense than going a similar route with a fresh face. Wilson should be a near write-off because paying him handsomely would be less straightforward than simply re-upping with Cousins. If Minnesota wants a cheap bridge type, then so be it, but that will probably be a tough pill to push on the passing game after dealing with the likes of Josh Dobbs and Nick Mullens for half of this past season.

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I’m not sure what odds I’m putting on it, but Cousins or a first-round rookie seems like the most sense for Week 1 with the Vikings, and I can’t quite get myself to move off that yet.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.