June 23, 2024

The Minnesota Vikings have made a move in their quarterback room this offseason, although they may not be finished adding to it. They signed Sam Darnold to a one-year, $10 million contract after his stint as the San Francisco 49ers’ backup to Brock Purdy in the Kyle Shanahan quarterback rehabilitation program during the 2023 season.

Darnold’s contract reflects borderline starting quarterback compensation, leading to questions about the Vikings’ strategy, especially regarding their potential pursuit of a future franchise quarterback in the NFL Draft. Pro Football Focus criticized the Vikings for signing Darnold and the terms of his new deal.

“Darnold’s reunion with former teammate Josh McCown, who is now the quarterbacks coach for the Minnesota Vikings under Kevin O’Connell, has sparked discussions. Brad Spielberger of PFF highlights the Darnold signing as his least favorite move by the Vikings this offseason. He mentions the need for a bridge quarterback in Minnesota or the potential for a situation akin to the Baker Mayfield experience in Tampa Bay in 2024. Despite numerous options available, the Vikings opted to give Darnold a significant raise over his 2023 salary, possibly as a strategic move to avoid trading up for a quarterback in the draft.

Spielberger acknowledges Darnold’s promising moments towards the end of the 2022 season in Carolina and the continued belief of some teams in his talent as a former third overall pick. With Kirk Cousins now with the Atlanta Falcons, the Vikings had to make a substantial move given their first-round draft pick at No. 11 overall. Player agents were keenly aware of this situation, leading to speculation about whether the Vikings will select a rookie quarterback at No. 11 or pursue a trade-up scenario.”

Minnesota Vikings Criticized for Quarterback Move

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