Vikings Predicted to Part Ways With $4 Million QB This Summer

Vikings Depth Chart

Getty Quarterback Jaren Hall #16 of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings drafted a new future when they selected J.J. McCarthy with the 10th pick in the NFL draft, which could spell the end of another young quarterback’s time with the team.

Former fifth-round pick Jaren Hall started a couple of games for Minnesota during his rookie campaign, though he didn’t finish either of them. A concussion knocked Hall out of his first start against the Atlanta Falcons in early November, while poor play led head coach Kevin O’Connell to yank Hall from the lineup against the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 after just 10 pass attempts in favor of Nick Mullens.

It appears now as though Hall may never get another shot to start, or play at all for Minnesota, following the additions of McCarthy and former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold on a one-year deal worth $10 million.

Alec Lewis of The Athletic on Thursday, May 2, published his projections for the team’s 53-man roster, and Hall was the odd man out in the quarterback room. Lewis further predicted Darnold to start the year under center, with McCarthy and Mullens behind him on the depth chart.

The Vikings do not want to rush McCarthy’s development. Michigan’s offensive system contains some of the same concepts as head coach Kevin O’Connell’s offense. McCarthy also has experience playing under center. Still, Minnesota wants to treat this like a big-league baseball team would with a top prospect. Until all of the Vikings’ decision-makers are convinced McCarthy is ready, it does not make sense to throw him into the fire.

This is contingent both on Darnold’s performance and the team’s willingness to turn to Mullens if Darnold struggles or suffers an injury. Team leaders hope neither happens, but they have to plan for the worst-case scenario.

Jaren Hall Missed Shot to Become Vikings’ Long-Term Starter Following Concussion Against Falcons

Jaren Hall, Minnesota Vikings

GettyQuarterback Jaren Hall of the Minnesota Vikings.

Events looked to be transpiring in Hall’s favor after former starter Kirk Cousins went down with a season-ending Achilles tear against the Packers at the end of Week 8. Hall saw his first action of the season in relief of Cousins during that contest, then got the nod from O’Connell to start in Week 9.

However, the short-lived juggernaut that was Josh Dobbs‘ run in Minnesota began with him taking the reins from Hall following the latter’s head injury in Atlanta. Dobbs went on to lead the team to an improbable victory despite having joined the franchise less than one week prior and taking the field with extremely limited knowledge of the offense or his teammates.

Dobbs, now a member of the San Francisco 49ers, kept the starting job for the next month, ultimately finishing his unlikely run as the Vikings starter with a 2-2 record. Mullens was still recovering from a back injury for much of that stretch but was healthy enough to step in for Dobbs after O’Connell decided to make another switch late in the team’s December 11 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Mullens led the team to victory in that game and started the next two contests, in which he was statistically prolific, though the Vikings eventually lost both games. Hall got one more shot in Week 17 with Minnesota’s season on the line, but his early struggles spelled a quick end to the rookie’s second chance.

Jaren Hall Has Unlikely Path to Starting Role, Top-2 QB Spot With Vikings

Jaren Hall, Vikings

GettyQuarterback Jaren Hall of the Minnesota Vikings.

Dobbs is a hard sell over Mullens, who has 20 career starts (5-15) under his belt and threw for more than 300 yards in all three of his starts (including one 400-yard game) for the Vikings last year.

Hall, meanwhile, finished his first NFL campaign 13-for-20 passing for 168 yards and an INT, per Pro Football Reference. He is entering the second season of his four-year, $4.1 million rookie contract and is a solid candidate to run the Vikings’ practice squad offense if Lewis’ prediction turns out to be correct and Hall missed out on a top-three spot in the QB room.

Seemingly the only path to some other fate, other than Minnesota cutting him and the QB finding employment elsewhere, is for Hall to establish himself as a potentially starting-caliber player in training camp. Under those circumstances, perhaps aided by an injury to Darnold or Mullens, Hall could potentially vault himself into a starting role until McCarthy hits his development benchmarks and assumes the job.

If Hall played well enough, he may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere, though the more likely outcome in that highly unlikely and hypothetical scenario is that the Vikings would retain Hall as a second-string option behind McCarthy until his contract expires following the 2026 season.

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