Vikings Nopedy Nopes: JJets and 2,000 Yards, a Terrible Offseason, Bridge QBs

Getting His Madden
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A weekend publication from VikingsTerritory, we present to you: the Vikings Nopedy Nopes of the week.

Vikings Nopedy Nopes: JJets and 2,000 Yards, a Terrible Offseason, Bridge QBs

The nopedy nopes are weekly Minnesota Vikings-themed items that we’re not buying. It’s a spin-off of our rumor mill, and we hope you enjoy. Here is the 15th batch of Vikings nopedy nopes in the series’ history.

The Nopedy Nope: Justin Jefferson can still chase his goal of 2,000 receiving yards in a season.

Vikings Nopedy Nopes
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Jefferson should always have 2,000 yards on his radar — he’ll probably reach the achievement eventually — and some say 2024 could be the year.

This week, banged the drum on potential candidates to shatter the single-season receiving record, and after Tyreek Hill and Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jefferson’s name entered the chat. “The league’s highest-paid pass catcher should compete for the NFL’s receiving record as the top option in Kevin O’Connell’s offense. The ultra-creative play designer utilizes various formations, pre-snap shifts and motions to loosen the coverage around Jefferson,” Bucky Brooks wrote.

Because Minnesota enters this season with “unknowns” at quarterback in Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy, 2024 should be the only season when Jefferson is not forecasted to hit 2,000 yards. This may go down as the one year in his career when the quarterback was iffy.

We believe Jefferson is more than capable of hitting the milestone, but this season seems like a wacky time for it. Darnold would have to absolutely light it up for Jefferson to hit 2,000.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: Minnesota had one of the worst offseasons in the NFL, grabbing a grade in the neighborhood of a C-.

vikings wr3
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN’s Seth Walder weighed in unenthusiastically about the Vikings’ trade for outside linebacker Dallas Turner — the price was steep — the pre-draft trade with the Houston Texans, and claimed the purple team bungled the compensatory pick process regarding Danielle Hunter to the Houston Texans. He assigned the purple team a C- offseason grade, one of the worst in the NFL.

“They signed Sam Darnold, who made sense as a useful stopgap but nothing more. But their eyes were set on the rookies. At first blush the team’s move to surrender a future second-round pick to move up from 42 to 23 seemed odd,” Walder explained. “What Minnesota gave up was worth more than what it got back — but the assumption was that it was part of a larger package with the No. 11 pick to trade up into the early part of the first round for a QB. When it became apparent that wasn’t the case, the move looked illogical.”

Minnesota conducted the trade with Houston in March to provide itself flexibility in the draft. When Drake Maye wasn’t for sale via trade — or the price was too high — general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pivoted to McCarthy of Michigan.

“That the Vikings were not able to trade up into the top three isn’t on them — it takes two to tango — and they deserve credit for holding out and not trading up for McCarthy until they were one pick away, flipping spots with the Jets and picking him at 10,” Walder continued, “But later in the first round, the team traded a ton of value to move up from 23 to 17 for Turner. It was a very pricey trade in its own right, but if we consider the entire move from 42 to 17 and combine the two trades, it was an overwhelming price to pay.”

Turner’s trade price tag was extremely expensive, and he must hit as a long-term starter — probably a Pro Bowler to make the deal worthwhile.

Finally, Walder chided Adofo-Mensah’s handling of the compensatory pick strategy, “The Vikings made an egregious error in free agency with regard to compensatory picks according to Nick Korte of OverTheCap, who asserted that the team will lose out on a projected third-round compensatory pick for Hunter because it signed cornerback Shaquill Griffin to a one-year, $4.6 million contract.”

Alternative reporting has challenged or debunked the Korte theory, insisting the Vikings’ addition of Griffin didn’t affect the compensatory process.

A C- is a pretty brutal grade without seeing how the next few years play out.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: The Vikings were dumb to sign Sam Darnold and should be very scared that J.J. McCarthy didn’t already win the QB1 job.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports | Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports.

A Green Bay Packers-themed website recently teed off on the Vikings’ quarterback situation without provocation. It poked fun at Minnesota’s coaching staff’s enthusiasm for Darnold and chided McCarthy for not already earning the QB1 gig.

“In 56 career starts, Darnold has completed 59.7% of his throws for 12,064 passing yards with 63 passing touchdowns and 56 interceptions. In addition, he had a 21-35 record. Those stats aren’t much to fond over, which is why the Vikings took McCarthy with the 10th overall pick this past draft,” DE’s Richard Louis wrote about Darnold’s career history.

Then, Louis got to the juicy part: “To add more fuel to the fire, it looks like he isn’t ready to touch the field either. Being QB2 behind Darnold with no plan of playing is definitely a statement. Regardless, this sounds like great news to Green Bay as Minnesota has blind faith with the most important position on the football field.”

Signing a player like Darnold to hold down the fort during the early section of McCarthy’s development is not revolutionary or new. The Buffalo Bills used Nathan Peterman on the depth chart in 2018 before Josh Allen took over. The Los Angeles Chargers employed Tyrod Taylor in 2020, and Justin Hebert soon took over after a bizarre Taylor injury.

And on the notion of McCarthy not setting the world on fire in May and June, well, the Wolverine was the youngest quarterback in the draft class, and Minnesota knew full well when drafting McCarthy that it might take time for him to see the field. DairyLand Express evidently doesn’t want Minnesota to think highly of its bridge quarterback and is stunned that McCarthy hasn’t taken the world by storm at age 21 in the spring and summer of his rookie season.

Lewis made sure to pound the chest of the cheese team, though, “The Green Bay Packers head into next season with the mindset of getting back to the top of the division and leading the charge once again. The Packers have won the NFL North title in eight of the past 11 years. In 2023, they went 9-8 and made it to the playoffs but had to go on the road for every contest.”

Dancing on the Vikings quarterback plan before the regular season even begins is flat-out weird.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

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 MIN 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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