Vikings Could Poach Former Super Bowl QB for Stretch Run

Kevin O'Connell, Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings currently have three suboptimal choices at quarterback for the stretch run, but a fourth option is available if the organization is so inclined.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco reverted to the practice squad on Monday, December 11, following the team’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars the day before. Technically, Flacco is now eligible to sign with any team in the NFL that he chooses.

The chances Flacco leaves the Browns are slim considering the success he’s had and the team’s choice to name him the starter for the remainder of the season. However, the one element of Flacco’s scenario that could pull him away from Cleveland is a big-money offer from a contending team. Minnesota is both a contender in the NFC and has the salary cap space to make a play for Flacco.

Andrew Fillipponi of 937TheFan in Pittsburgh laid out the scenario in a social media post on Monday.

“The Vikings have $10 million in cap space. If Minnesota offered Joe Flacco $8 million for the rest of the year to sign there, would he leave Cleveland?” Fillipponi posted to X. “I would.”

Joe Flacco Inclined to Remain with Browns, but Big-Money Offer from Vikings Could Change Equation

Joe Flacco will be the starter for the Cleveland Browns going forward.

GettyQuarterback Joe Flacco of the Cleveland Browns.

Jason LaCanfora of the Washington Post explained on Monday how Flacco is a free agent and why the Browns should be intent on bringing him back into the fold as soon as possible.

“Currently, despite his strong play, Joe Flacco is a free agent who reverted back to CLE practice squad,” La Canfora wrote. “Anyone could sign him. Agent Joe Linta said he spoke briefly with the Browns Sunday night, but that’s it for now. You’d think that’d be a high priority for CLE with so much QB need in NFL.”

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski spoke to Flacco’s free agency on Monday and attempted to set a calming tone.

“I’d say don’t worry about it,” Stefanski said. “Because it’ll all work out. I wouldn’t be hung up on this one.”

Adam Schefter of ESPN put out a similar message on social media regarding Flacco.

“Joe Flacco has reverted back to the Browns’ practice squad and, at the same [time], he also is now eligible to sign with another team’s active roster,” Schefter posted to X Monday. “Despite any interest, Flacco wants to remain in Cleveland.”

As such, it appears the Vikings don’t have a great shot to steal Flacco from the Browns. However, a big-money offer for just four games of work followed by a possible postseason run has the potential to change the equation.

Vikings Don’t Have Better Option Than Joe Flacco on Roster

Nick Mullens, Vikings

GettyQuarterback Nick Mullens of the Minnesota Vikings.

While Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was noncommittal Sunday about whom the team would start under center moving forward, the writing is pretty obviously on the wall.

O’Connell pulled quarterback Josh Dobbs during the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders, replacing him with backup Nick Mullens. Mullens led the Vikings on a game-winning field-goal drive and now has the inside track to start over the team’s final four contests of the regular season.

However, O’Connell also said that the Vikings are now a “week-to-week offense,” which means all options are in play. Dobbs has had his shot, and while he was impressive early, he has come up short in the last three games. Rookie Jaren Hall has one quarter of experience in his NFL career, leaving Mullens as the only real option.

It is impossible to view Mullens as a superior option over Flacco, given both Flacco’s recent performances for Cleveland and his history in the NFL. Flacco is 100-82 as an NFL starter and has a Super Bowl MVP on his resumé. Mullens is 5-12 as a professional and has zero playoff experience.

Making another switch at quarterback so late in the season is not ideal for the Vikings, but if they can sign a signal-caller who is clearly better than any of the other options on their active roster, it is a decision worth considering.

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