The first real domino was Derek Carr, who was benched a few weeks ago by the Las Vegas Raiders and decided to leave the team. He’ll be a player in the tilt-a-whirl.
And that tilt-a-whirl is the annual quarterback carousel that has entertained fans during the offseason as of late. In 2021, the Los Angeles Rams found Matthew Stafford via trade — and won a Super Bowl for their troubles. The year before, Tom Brady skedaddled to Tampa Bay, and guess what — won a Super Bowl.
The 3 Big QB Rumors in the Vikings Orbit This Week
Last year, Russell Wilson joined the Denver Broncos, but that was a trainwreck. So was Matt Ryan to Indianapolis and Carson Wentz to Washington.
The QB carousel is coming, and here’s how rumors of the event affected the Vikings this week.
Yes, Tom Brady in Purple Is a Real Rumor.
Brady turns 46 this summer, so let’s just get that out in the discussion forum. The man is old, but some believe he’ll continue to defy every rule with his GOATish ways.
Brady is scheduled to become an unfettered free agent in March, perhaps embarking on his 24th NFL season. After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs, Brady was uncertain about his future and remains undecided about next steps.
And there may be a realistic chance for the Vikings to land Brady, a thesis that has never gained traction until now.
Via NFL Analysis Network, Kenneth Teape mentioned the Vikings on Tuesday as an outsider to land Brady in free agency. He wrote, “Improving on that side of the ball will certainly help their long-term outlook, but a former NFL executive that spoke to NFL Analysis Network believes a quarterback change is what would put them over the top. The executive suggested Minnesota as a dark horse landing spot for free agent, Tom Brady.”
The unnamed executive allegedly elaborated about Brady and the Vikings, “I know the Raiders and Dolphins are the two most talked about. The 49ers are another possible destination, but they have Brock Purdy now. Watch out for the Vikings. Replacing Kirk Cousins with Brady would make them an actual legitimate threat to win the Super Bowl.”
“Brady would certainly be a splash acquisition for the Vikings, and he would thrive in this offense. Any quarterback would find success throwing passes to Justin Jefferson with complementary players in Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, and tight end T.J. Hockenson,” Teape concluded.
The Vikings are contractually committed to current QB1 Kirk Cousins for at least one more season. The soon-to-be 35-year-old also has a no-trade clause, a gratuity for Cousins added onto last year’s extension. Finding a dance partner of Cousins’ choosing could be tricky, but if there’s a will, there’s a way, especially if the Vikings are genuinely interested in Brady.
Vikings skipper Kevin O’Connell crossed paths with Brady in 2008 and 2009 with the Patriots. The circle of life.
Trey Lance, Too.
If the Vikings want to end the Cousins era in the next couple of months — nobody knows if that’s even remotely a possibility — trading for Trey Lance really makes sense.
The 49ers now have Brock Purdy at their disposal, and would they truly look that man dead in the eye and say, “Pal, what you’ve done for us in 2022 isn’t quite good enough. We’re going back to Trey Lance.”
That could start a riot in Santa Clara.
Therefore, if Purdy is “the guy” from here on out for the 49ers, Lance would become a lame duck. Lance is from Marshall, Minnesota, went to North Dakota State, and Minnesota front-office boss Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has ties to the 49ers organization. The communication channels are tailor-made for this.
Should the Vikings chomp at the bit to try something new at quarterback, all the stars align for Lance to be him. Lance could even sit behind Cousins for one more year while Cousins’ contract finishes in 2023, if needed.
This theory was advanced by Judd Zulgad from SKOR North and VikingsWire, Janik Eckardt, and others.
Rodgers Following a Favresian Path?
It’s January 27th, and the New York Jets hired Aaron Rodgers’ favorite offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett.
And that’s inside an offseason where the Packers could realistically trade Rodgers, despite a huge financial liability on Green Bay’s books. The Jets also need a quarterback — if they’re not wholly married to Mike White. The Zach Wilson era seems over.
This doesn’t directly affect the Vikings, but Rodgers out of the NFC North in the twilight of his career — a la Brett Favre in 2008 — is a big deal for Vikings football. It would likely indicate the Jordan Love era is underway in Wisconsin and that the Vikings would probably never see Rodgers again. Minnesota has seen Rodgers annually for the last 15 years.
Rodgers-to-Jets is all over the place, chiefly because it makes too much sense. The kicker is whether the Packers will swallow that much dead cap to finally begin life after Mr. Rodgers.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.