Johnny Manziel Issues Weird Warning to Vikings

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If quarterback Sam Darnold is “too good,” well, that’s a wonderful problem.

Johnny Manziel Issues Weird Warning to Vikings

That’s the theory from former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who said recently that Darnold might stunt J.J. McCarthy’s development because Darnold is too good to bench.

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Manziel has his own show now and used that podcast to tout pro-Darnold sentiments. Most Vikings fans would absolutely adore Darnold balling out and keeping McCarthy off the field — it’s the best-case scenario, in fact.

“I truly feel, based off who Sam Darnold is in that room, whoever comes to Minnesota, if they do indeed go with a quarterback [in the draft], is gonna have their hands full with Sam Darnold. I know that may raise a little bit of red flags and raise a couple heads up off the table, but Sam Darnold can play football. That guy can sling the rock, he was drafted where he was for a reason, and he’s been waiting for a situation like this,” Manziel opined on The Action Network.

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Minnesota scooped Darnold from the free-agent wire in March, some twelve or so hours after Kirk Cousins tampered and agreed to a deal with the Atlanta Falcons. Some fringe voices claimed Darnold was Cousins’ replacement, but that theory proved to be emphatically false six weeks later when general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah drafted McCarthy from Michigan with the 10th overall pick.

Since the draft, Vikings fans have debated and wondered when McCarthy might see the field. He could blow everyone away this summer and seize the QB1 job right away, but most accept that he’ll watch and learn for an indefinite period while Darnold mans the ship.

Vegas Odds
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Per Manziel, however, Darnold might just play wonderfully and relegate McCarthy to QB2 for the long haul. To be clear, Manziel didn’t say anything negative about McCarthy; he just forecasted that Darnold could be too prolific for his own good.

Right after the draft, ESPN claimed that Minnesota had a specific plan awaiting McCarthy. “The Vikings will follow an individualized development plan they created for each of the quarterbacks they considered drafting, one that requires McCarthy to hit specific benchmarks and gives coach Kevin O’Connell full authority to make the timing decision,” ESPN’s Kevin Seifert explained on April 26th.

NFL Draft
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Darnold is the slight favorite among oddsmakers to win the job, the overwhelming prediction from Vikings fans, and now there’s Manziel’s theory that Darnold will be a stud.

Folks will get a verdict in about four months.

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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