5 QBs That Could Be on the Vikings Radar This Offseason
The Minnesota Vikings very likely have their QB1 locked up for the 2023 season in Kirk Cousins, but their backup spot is currently up for grabs with Nick Mullens heading to free agency. With Cousins entering his age-35 season, there’s reason to believe that the Vikings may need to rely on a backup for a game or two in 2023. Here are 5 QBs that could be on the Vikings radar to fill that spot if they don’t bring Mullens back.
Zach Wilson is in trade rumors everywhere right now, particularly due to New York’s supposed interest in Aaron Rodgers. His name has come up particularly within Vikings circles because of the uncertainty with the Vikings QB situation following 2023.
In 2022, Wilson started 9 games and completed 54.5% of his passes for 1688 yards, 6 TDs, and 7 INTs. Not particularly great numbers, but it became apparent over the course of the season that a change of scenery may be best for the former second overall pick. The hangup here may be with price because of the fact that Wilson was the No. 2 pick just two years ago in 2021.
I’ve tried speaking “Minshew to Minnesota” into existence in each of the past two offseasons, so it makes sense to try again, right? Gardner Minshew burst onto the scene in 2019 by combining solid play with an addictive personality. During his 2019 rookie season with the Jags, he started 12 games, during which Jacksonville went 6-6, and recorded 3271 passing yards, 21 TDs, and 6 INTs.
Since then, Minshew’s role has been reduced largely to a backup’s role, spending the 2021 and 2022 seasons in Philadelphia behind Jalen Hurts. In Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s and Kevin O’Connell’s first season with the Vikings, they made it clear that finding a quality backup was important to them when they traded to acquire Mullens. Perhaps Minshew could be that guy in 2023.
In somewhat the same vein as Minshew, if nothing else, Huntley is a very good backup QB to have on a roster. During 2022, Huntley started four games for the Baltimore Ravens while Lamar Jackson sat out with injury.
During this season, Huntley had modest passing numbers of 657 passing yards, 2 TDs, and 3 INTs, but he adds the threat of being an excellent runner. He likely isn’t a long-term solution for the Vikings at quarterback, but he remains one of the better backups.
Let’s talk about a wild card option for Minnesota. The Carolina Panthers drafted Matt Corral in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but he did not see any action during the season due to a Lisfranc injury suffered during the preseason.
However, Corral was one of the better QB prospects in the 2022 Draft, which allowed him to be a Day 2 pick. The Panthers have multiple directions that they could go in at the QB position whether it be Darnold, giving Corral a chance, or drafting another quarterback with the ninth overall pick. Perhaps the Vikings would be willing to send a mid-round pick to Carolina in exchange for the quarterback, and O’Connell can mold him into a starting-caliber QB.
Jameis Winston is coming off another injury after suffering four fractures in his back during the season. Now, Winston hits free agency again after starting 10 games over the past three seasons.
Because of that, Winston probably won’t carry much of a price tag in free agency, but remember, he’s still a guy that passed for over 5000 yards in 2019. Granted, he’s a bit too erratic as a passer to be considered a long-term solution, but if the Vikings need him to step in for a game, there aren’t too many QBs better suited for that job.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.