Vikings Would Reportedly Be ‘Fine’ With This Surprising Move

Minnesota Vikings
NFL Analysis Network

The Minnesota Vikings selected J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick of the NFL Draft late last month, and everyone has assumed that McCarthy will be the starting quarterback come Week 1.

But maybe it isn’t a sure thing?

ESPN’s Dan Graziano says that while the Vikings are planning on having McCarthy under center for the season opener, a world certainly exists in which the club may roll with Sam Darnold.

“The Vikings have a specific step-by-step plan for McCarthy’s development, and if he hits each step, odds are he opens the 2024 season as the starter,” Graziano wrote (h/t The Purple Persuasion). “If not, and they have to keep working with him while starting Sam Darnold, they’re fine with that, too.”

Minnesota signed Darnold in free agency, which appeared to be an insurance policy after the club lost Kirk Cousins to the Atlanta Falcons.

The general expectation was that the Vikings would draft a quarterback and would merely be using Darnold as a backup.

That appears to be the most likely scenario, but Minnesota also wants to be careful with McCarthy heading into his rookie campaign, which is completely understandable.

The last thing a team should want to do is throw a first-year quarterback to the wolves and ruin his confidence. We don’t have to look any further than the New York Jets and Zach Wilson to see that. Heck, the Jets also kind of did it with Darnold himself.

McCarthy is actually heading into a decent situation with the Vikings, as he already has wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison in place. Plus, tight end T.J. Hockenson will be returning from his knee injury at some point next season.

But even with all of that said, the Vikings still want to take baby steps with McCarthy.

McCarthy is coming off of a 2023 campaign in which he led Michigan to a national title, throwing for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 72.3 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 202 yards and three scores..

Meanwhile, Darnold spent last season as Brock Purdy’s backup with the San Francisco 49ers. He was originally selected by the Jets with the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft and spent three disappointing seasons in New York. Darnold was then traded to the Carolina Panthers in 2021, where he would reside for two unsuccessful campaigns before joining the 49ers.

Perhaps Darnold will get another chance to start in 2024, even if it’s just for a limited time.

Want the latest NFL analysis, breaking news, and insider information? Click here. Interested in reading storylines and analysis about the NBA? Check out our partner NBA Analysis Network.

Share on Facebook
Share On Twitter

Vikings’ T.J. Hockenson Provides Grim Injury Update On Himself

Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson suffered a devastating knee injury late last season, tearing his ACL and his MCL in a Week 16 loss

Packers’ Rookie RB Draws Comparison To Former Pro Bowler

The Green Bay Packers selected running back MarShawn Lloyd in the third round of the NFL Draft late last month, and many lauded the pick,

NFL Analyst Reveals Shocking Prediction For Vikings QB

The Minnesota Vikings selected J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick of the NFL Draft late last month, and everyone is just assuming he will