Vikings Rumors: The QB’s Perfect Fit, Dwindling Cap Space, and Fulfilled Prophecy

Since we’re officially into the portion of the year when Vikings rumors are arriving fast and furious, we’ll be highlighting some of the purple rumblings.

The “Vikings Rumor Wrangle” is a series that keeps readers informed on what’s being whispered about in Vikings Land. In this iteration, we discuss the Vikings being a great fit for the Michigan passer, the team’s cap space shrinking, and fulfilling the UDFA prophecy.

Vikings Rumors: 05.01.2024

Rumor #1 — The Vikings are a Perfect Fit for J.J. McCarthy

Ted Nguyen is a film/scheme guy over at The Athletic. The man does good work, so Vikings fans may be pleased to know that Nguyen foresees good things for Minnesota McCarthy.

The initial word: “McCarthy is the Shanahan/McVay system quarterback prototype with a mini jet pack attached. He’s athletic enough to run boots, he has the arm and accuracy to hit tight window passes in the middle of the field and hit the deep shot when they are there. He takes care of the ball, he’s comfortable turning his back to the defense on play action and has a dash of playmaker to him.”

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Part of what will make it work is the head coach who is calling the shots: “Head coach Kevin O’Connell is an excellent play caller, who found ways to score points with a revolving door at quarterback last season.”

No doubt, the broader context for McCarhy is encouraging: “In my opinion, Minnesota is the most QB-friendly team in the league. It has a head coach who calls plays so there’s no threat of him leaving for another job, two bookend tackles, [and] the best receiver in the league.”

If the defense can keep improving, then Minnesota could be onto something. Winning the time of possession battle and being in favorable field position can help a young passer.

Rumor #2 — Minnesota’s Cap Space is Dwindling

Inevitable.

Minnesota brought seven draftees to town in the 2024 NFL Draft. According to Over the Cap, the cost of doing so will be a touch beyond $11 million in cap space for the upcoming season.

Currently, the Vikings have a touch below $16.7 million. Subtracting the cap space for the draft class will result in Minnesota having roughly $5.5 million left over.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

OTC’s Jason Fitzgerald thinks that Minnesota’s draft class — with no shortage of help from the quarterback selection — represents positive value.

“The other thing that is fun to look at is how teams utilized their picks. What I did was for every position calculate the expected value for the player based on his position and then calculated the expected value for a blind pick,” Fitzgerald notes. “These numbers always skew heavily towards teams that draft a QB so the top team is Chicago with a 74.7% increase over the baseline value. New England, Denver, Atlanta, and Minnesota would be the rest of the top five.”

Keep in mind that extending Justin Jefferson, Harrison Phillips, and/or Byron Murphy could clear more room in the present moment.

Rumor #3 — Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Fulfilled the Post-Draft Prophecy

At this point, there’s a well-worn path for after the draft. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wants to go bold when it comes to adding UDFA talent. Yet again, he lived up to that approach.

Minnesota brought seventeen undrafted free agents aboard. The one who stands out the most is edge rusher Gabriel Murphy. The UCLA alumnus had some impressive numbers: “However, Murphy truly burst onto the scene in 2023 next to Laiatu Latu, who was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 15th overall pick. Murphy piled up 38 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and two passes defended.”

Oct 7, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Gabriel Murphy (11) celebrates after sacking Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) during the second half at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In years prior, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has opted for upside edge rushers among the UDFA cluster of talent. Luiji Vilain, Zach McCloud, and Andre Carter II are the main names to know. Of the trio, Carter is the lone one who has stuck around; there’s some reason to believe he can develop into a strong rotational player.

For the current group, the hope will be to snag at least a few strong players. Guys like punter Ryan Wright, linebacker Ivan Pace, and special teams ace NaJee Thompson have all been added as UDFAs.


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K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.

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