With Another QB on the Vikings Roster, One Incumbent Suddenly Feels Out of Place

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

This week has answered a lot of questions for the Vikings roster, particularly at their quarterback position.

Of course, Kirk Cousins is joining the Atlanta Falcons on a massive new contract, and the Vikings promptly replaced him by signing Sam Darnold, who spent this past season with the San Francisco 49ers. As a result, there is one quarterback who simply feels out of place on the team right now.

One QB Suddenly Feels Out of Place on the Vikings Roster

Vikings Roster
Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) looks to pass against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

That player is Nick Mullens, who has spent the past two seasons as a backup in Minnesota. After Cousins suffered his Achilles injury, the Vikings went through their QB carousel throughout the second half of the 2023 season, and Mullens appeared in five games, starting three of them.

The claim that Mullens feels out of place isn’t to suggest that the quarterback isn’t a talented football player. He has a talented arm and can fill up a stat sheet when given the chance.

Throughout that second half of the year, Mullens was Minnesota’s “break glass in case of emergency” option. When Josh Dobbs led the Vikings offense to precisely zero points through three and a half quarters against the Las Vegas Raiders, it was Mullens who stepped in to lead Minnesota to a win. When rookie Jaren Hall was in way over his head against the Green Bay Packers, Mullens was the guy to step in and clean up the mess as best he could.

In total, Mullens completed 67.6% of his passes this past season for 1306 yards, seven touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) celebrates after the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

However, it simply doesn’t feel like Mullens fits on the team anymore. Considering Sam Darnold was given a $10 million contract, it seems like the Vikings are going to trust him as their bridge QB this year while targeting a potential QB of the future in the draft.

Minnesota holds the No. 11 pick in the draft, and they seem to be in prime position to either move up for a quarterback, or perhaps they could stand pat and take one with their current selection. The latter option has become a touch more plausible now that the Falcons are out of the QB market.

If the Vikings draft another quarterback, that would mean they have four QBs on the roster in Darnold, Jaren Hall, Mullens and whichever rookie they draft. Seeing as Hall was selected in the fifth round last spring by this regime, it doesn’t feel like he will be the player to go.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Dec 31, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, moving on from Mullens would save the Vikings $1.855 million in cap space, per Over the Cap, which at the very least, could help Minnesota sign their draft picks later this spring.

Mullens will only turn 29 years old on March 21st, and he should get another opportunity to be a backup quarterback with a new team if the Vikings do decide to part ways with him at some point this offseason.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.