Horrible QB Sandwich Suggested for Vikings Solution

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings QB solution for 2024 will take shape on Monday or Tuesday when news of Kirk Cousins’ future is announced.

Vikings QB Solution: Horrible Sandwich Proposed for 2024

Cousins, 35, can formally talk with any NFL team on Monday and could sign a large contract elsewhere. The Atlanta Falcons, for example, are the oddsmakers’ frontrunner for his services. Minnesota would, of course, need a new quarterback, probably from the 2024 NFL Draft, but not everyone believes that’s a sure-fire outcome. The Athletic proposed a strange solution this week — horrifying for some — involving a dual signing of Sam Darnold and Zach Wilson.

Vikings QB
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports.

Yes, them. It is utterly unclear why Minnesota would need both. The working theory evidently must be “let the best man win” between two semi-recent draft busts.

The Athletic‘s Zack Rosenblatt wrote Thursday about Darnold and Wilson to the Vikings, “Let’s get wild. If the Vikings lose Cousins, their top target will be Mayfield. But if Mayfield doesn’t hit free agency, Minnesota might try to take a flier on a young option with some upside. Darnold has never been in particularly winning situations as a starter but no one has ever questioned his arm talent. After a year in Kyle Shanahan’s system, he might be ready for another shot at starting — though it’s possible Justin Jefferson (desiring a new contract) would not be thrilled with this arrangement.”

Vikings Lead the Way
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) throws the ball as Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano (58) tackles him during the first half of the home opener at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Darnold and Wilson were drafted with visions of grandeur in 2018 and 2021, respectively, and neither panned out as QB1s. The San Francisco 49ers last employed Darnold as a QB2, and Wilson got one last stint as the Jets’ fix in 2023 when Aaron Rodgers fell injured after four offensive plays.

“In 2021, some with the Jets wanted to keep Darnold and draft Wilson and now the Vikings have the chance to play out that dream. Wilson is on his way out in New York but in the right environment, with the right coaching, he still has the talent to, at worst, be a high-end backup. Minnesota is a good fit,” Rosenblatt added.

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If Cousins walks to a new team — which feels quite realistic one day before free agency — Minnesota is close to guaranteed to take a swing on a rookie passer. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell took over two years ago, both receiving four-year deals, and putting their job security in the baskets of Darnold and Wilson just seems harebrained.

Should the Vikings explore this year’s draft for life after Cousins, a “Big 6” fills out the class. 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.

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Perhaps one of Darnold or Wilson is explored as a patchover quarterback option or insurance policy, but both is downright wild.

The Vikings haven’t used 1st-Round draft capital on a quarterback in 10 years.

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.