Vikings Linked To Intriguing Young QB As Kirk Cousins Replacement

Sam Darnold
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s looking more and more like the Minnesota Vikings and Kirk Cousins may go their separate ways this offseason, leaving a rather gaping hole under center for the Vikings.

But does Minnesota already have a potential target in mind?

Charley Waters of The St. Paul Pioneer Press says that the Vikings are eyeing Sam Darnold as a possible replacement for Cousins to bridge the gap between Cousins and Minnesota’s next young quarterback.

Waters added that Cousins is trending toward signing with the Atlanta Falcons, which would leave the door open for the Vikings to sign Darnold.

In this scenario, Minnesota would also draft a signal-caller and roll with Darnold for one year while the rookie quarterback sits and learns in 2024.

Darnold is not exactly a glamorous name, but the fact that he has experience as a starter and is still just 26 years old makes him a relatively interesting option.

The USC product spent the 2023 campaign with the San Francisco 49ers, where he backed up Brock Purdy. He played in 10 games and made one start, completing 28 of his 46 passes for 297 yards, a couple of touchdowns and an interception during that time.

Darnold was originally selected by the New York Jets with the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

He spent the first three years of his career with the Jets, with his best season coming in 2019 when he threw for 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 picks while completing 61.9 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 84.3.

When it became clear that Darnold was not working out in New York, the Jets traded him to the Carolina Panthers in April 2021.

Darnold spent two underwhelming years in Carolina before joining the 49ers.

The Vikings own the 11th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, so whether or not they are able to take a quarterback without trading up remains to be seen.

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