Breaking: Vikings Get Stuck In Deal To Sign $54.2 Million QB

Breaking: Vikings Get Stuck In Deal To Sign $54.2 Million QB

The moment Kirk Cousins signed with the Atlanta Falcons, it opened a Pandora’s Box of outcomes for the Minnesota Vikings. They were finally taking a swing at getting a top-tier quarterback, and the photoshops and hot takes on the internet became legion.

With less than a week until the draft, many fans are dreaming of Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy throwing passes to Justin Jefferson. But that ideal may ignore a reality that Vikings supporters might not want to acknowledge.

The top three draft picks go to clubs in need of a quarterback. The fourth pick may belong to a team with a top prospect in mind, while the fifth pick may hold a grudge against Minnesota for their choice of head coach. This may lead to a nightmarish scenario for the Vikings: Bo Nix.

Nix is the outlier among the top five quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Nobody in their right mind wants to see Nix wearing a Vikings uniform. If they had the option, they would choose Michael Penix Jr. However, the choice is not up to popular vote, and Nix could end up being the Vikings’ quarterback.

Minnesota would love to move into the top three. Regardless of what general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said about walkaway prices and his affection for all quarterbacks, the goal of acquiring a second first-round pick in a stacked draft was to lower the amount of long-term cash required to trade up from the 11th overall pick.

This afforded the Vikings flexibility, allowing them to relinquish two picks in this year’s draft rather than burning picks from three years out, like in the Robert Griffin III and Trey Lance transactions.

But, like any successful agreement, there must be a partner on the other end. The Chicago Bears are acquiring Caleb Williams. On Thursday, Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters stated that he “feels great about staying at No. 2.”.Less than an hour later, the New England Patriots’ scouting director announced himself “open for business”. They might, however, overlook their numerous roster needs and instead select a quarterback.

That could leave the Vikings scrambling for a deal with the Arizona Cardinals or Los Angeles Chargers. The Cardinals have also declared themselves open for business, but they also could decide Marvin Harrison Jr. is too good to pass up.

The Chargers are the next trade partner, but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio feels Jim Harbaugh may still bear a grudge for losing the head coaching position to Kevin O’Connell.

That would drop the Vikings farther down the board, potentially leaving them with a decision to make with the 11th overall pick. They have the option of reaching for a quarterback (similar to Christian Ponder’s pick) or selecting the next available player. According to NFL Network’s Peter Schrager, Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold might be a potential pick. However, it could lead them to another top defensive prospect, like Texas defensive lineman Byron Murphy II.

If the Vikings choose defense at No. 11, it could come down to Nix and Penix. KSTP’s Darren Wolfson suggested on SKOR North that the Vikings favor Nix over Penix, which might lead them to select the Oregon quarterback at No. 23 or trade back to acquire more picks.

The first question Vikings supporters would ask is why they prefer Nix to Penix. Penix defeated Nix twice at Washington last season, leading the Huskies to the College Football Playoff title game. However, Nix has certain attributes that O’Connell would like.

Nix’s accuracy would be the first thing that O’Connell notices after establishing the NCAA completion record of 77% last season.

Nix also does not turn the ball over. Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked him as having the lowest turnover-worthy play rate in the nation. He generally made the right decision, guiding an Oregon attack that finished second to LSU (45.5) with 44.2 points per game.

There is also speculation about what the Vikings would put around Nix. Adofo-Mensah emphasized the need of a good supporting cast for quarterbacks, citing Kyle Shanahan’s success with Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.

Nix might lead an attack that includes Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, Christian Darrisaw, Brian O’Neill, and Aaron Jones. But then you think that O’Connell would be on the sidelines, orchestrating everything like a nine-year-old who pretended to be sick so he could smash Madden all day long.

Also, O’Connell would not need to change his offense to accommodate a left-handed quarterback. These things will not excite supporters who have spent the last three months watching Penix throw downfield, but they are ideal for a head coach and general manager in the third year of four-year contracts.

But even if the Vikings could make Nix work, it wouldn’t erase Vikings fans’ concerns.

Nix makes the necessary plays and has few fumbles, but he rarely takes chances downfield. According to PFF, Nix’s big-time throw percentage (a pass with great ball location and timing sent down the field and/or into a tighter window) ranked 91st among eligible quarterbacks last year.

Oregon also structured their offense so that Nix could make quick, simple judgments. Nix’s 22.2% screen rate was the 12th highest in the country, while his average depth of target was the fifth-lowest at 6.8%.

NFL coaches often play the “I can fix him” game, but it’s difficult to see how this would work with Nix. While trading up for a great quarterback presents hurdles, the Vikings would also be dealing with Maye, who is 21 years old.

Nix, who turned 24 in February, is only two years younger than Sam Darnold. Nix persuaded Gopher fans to erect a statue of P.J. Fleck at the Outback Bowl five years ago.

There’s also the notion that Nix would be a younger version of the quarterback they recently replaced. O’Connell spent the first two years in Minnesota trying to get the most out of Cousins, only to have him pass up a fourth-and-eight in a playoff game.

If the Vikings drafted Nix, there would be the same concern. Then the issue arises: can we build around him?While moving on from Cousins’ big contract to the extension Jefferson will sign in the coming months.

The whole situation rattles Vikings supporters who have developed PTSD from the futile search for a franchise quarterback over the last two decades. While some have been offended, others have been disappointing and, to be honest, dull.

Consider the Vikings’ most enjoyable quarterbacking experiences over the last 20 years. Daunte Culpepper, a charismatic JUGS machine, was succeeded by Brett Favre, a mercenary. After eight years, Case Keenum led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game, followed by Cousins for the last six years.

The part that made drafting a quarterback so exciting is that fans wouldn’t have to sit through a robot quarterback anymore. Getting rid of Cousins and replacing him with Nix would be starting the cycle again.

That’s why Vikings fans are so opposed to staying with Nix. But if the rest of the draft has anything to say, it may be the best they can do.

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