Vikings Urged to Trade Veteran QB Ahead of 2024 Season

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

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

The Minnesota Vikings have reimagined the quarterback position, replacing Kirk Cousins with more mobile options in Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy long term — and that may lead to the departure of Cousins’ era backup Nick Mullens.

Bleacher Report’s scouting department identified several ways the Vikings could create cap space and urged the Vikings to part ways with Mullens — ideally by trade.

“While it wouldn’t save a ton of space, releasing—or, ideally, trading—quarterback Nick Mullens would be an easy decision. Between McCarthy, second-year quarterback Jaren Hall and newcomer Sam Darnold, the Vikings would have solid quarterback depth even without Mullens—though after watching so many QBs go down in 2023, including Kirk Cousins, Minnesota could be inclined to keep all four,” Bleacher Report’ pitch reads. “Releasing or trading Mullens would save $1.9 million in cap space.

Mullens was 0-3 as a starter last year but clinched a 3-0 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 after relieving Josh Dobbs in the fourth quarter. In his three starts, Mullens completed 67.4% of his passes, averaged 305.8 yards passing and threw seven touchdowns and eight interceptions and compiled an 88.6 quarterback rating.

He is a serviceable backup in the league, but with the Vikings potentially shifting the offense to complement a more mobile quarterback, Mullens may not fit as seamlessly as he did when the offense was designed for Cousins.

The Vikings acquired Mullen in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2023. His trade value likely hasn’t changed despite showing he could competently run Kevin O’Connell‘s offense last season.


Bleacher Report Highlights Overlooked Vikings QB Camp Battle: Jaren Hall vs. Nick Mullens

Jaren Hall and Nick Mullens

Image courtesy of the Minnesota VikingsVikings backup quarterbacks Jaren Hall (left) and Nick Mullens (right)

While the McCarthy and Darnold camp battle will be under a microscope this summer, Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon spotlighted the overlooked battle between Mullens and Hall.

“If possible, the Vikings would probably like to keep Nick Mullens around for his knowledge,” Kenyon wrote. “The problem is Minnesota signed Sam Darnold in free agency, drafted J.J. McCarthy and still has Jaren Hall — who realistically might not be safe as a hopeful stash on the practice squad. This is very much a Mullens vs. Hall discussion.”

Selected in the fifth round of the 2023 draft, Hall was thrust onto the Vikings’ quarterback carousel in the aftermath of Cousins’ Achilles injury.

Hall started a Week 17 matchup with the Green Bay Packers and struggled. He was sacked three times and turned the ball over twice while throwing for 67 yards. The Vikings totaled just 82 yards in the first half and trailed 23-3 before Hall was benched for Mullens in the second half of an eventual 33-10 loss.

While Hall is far from a finished product, the Vikings may not be ready to give up on him and could favor the BYU product over Mullens when considering the draft stock invested in each quarterback.


J.J. McCarthy Must Do More Than Beat Sam Darnold to Become Vikings’ Starting QB

Sam Darnold, J.J. McCarthy

GettyVikings quarterbacks Sam Darnold (left) and J.J. McCarthy (right).

While McCarthy’s first start for the Vikings will be highly anticipated, it may take longer than expected.

Star Tribune beat reporter Ben Goessling offered insight into the Vikings’ thought process in developing McCarthy, saying the rookie has a higher bar to clear than just performing better than Darnold in training camp.

“I don’t think that their approach to the job is based on: is he better than Sam Darnold,” Goessling said on KFAN radio on May 14. “I think the threshold they are looking at is: is he ready to take the job and run with it and do all of the things that we want to see done by an elite quarterback in this offense? And if it’s not there yet, or if it’s not there consistently enough yet, let’s wait. I think it’s about much more about that than this year.”

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