Expert Takes on the Vikings QB Situation

Posted Mar 2, 2018

It’s the ever-popular question buzzing around the NFL Scouting Combine this year.

Everyone wants to know, who will be the Vikings quarterback in 2018?

Over the past couple of days, both General Manager Rick Spielman and Head Coach Mike Zimmer have assured that, while they’re working on the process, no decisions have been made at the position.

Zimmer said he would “like to keep all three” of the quarterbacks currently on Minnesota’s roster, but Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and Case Keenum all have contracts due to expire in less than two weeks. Will one – or two – of them remain in Purple next season, or will the Vikings bring in a fresh face under center?’s Mike Wobschall caught up with a number of NFL experts in Indianapolis, and nearly all of them delved into the Vikings quarterback situation.

If the Vikings go through free agency to bring in a veteran quarterback, a number of experts opined that Kirk Cousins could be a hot target.

“I think Kirk Cousins would be the name that’s on most people’s mind right now,” NFL Films’ Greg Cosell said. “He’s been a starter, a very quality starter in this league, and I’m kind of surprised the way it’s played out with him because I like the player.”

ESPN’s John Clayton added: “[There] are three guys that are on this team that are unsigned but can sign, so you have three options there, but if Kirk Cousins is the one who can get this team a little bit farther, then do you go a little above that to pay him?”

Bridgewater, Bradford and Keenum have each started games for the Vikings over the past two seasons, and Zimmer emphasized that, although questions surround each one, they also have all proved their talent and their character.

NFL Network’s Jeffri Chadiha took this into consideration when sharing insight on Minnesota’s situation.

Chadiha said that Cousins is a “very popular name,” making him a likely target for multiple teams.

“[The Vikings are] going to be in the race to get him … so what they want to pay will determine a lot about this, but I think that if Keenum and Bridgewater are still out there, they may come back,” Chadiha said.

He added that the Vikings have learned “how to win with different kinds of quarterbacks” due to the injuries they’ve dealt with at the position since 2016, starting with Bridgewater’s dislocated knee.

“As much as they wouldn’t want to have to go this route, with Teddy Bridgewater [having] the tough leg injury, and Sam Bradford coming in and getting hurt, and then going to Keenum – they saw they can win a lot of different ways,” Chadiha said. “That’s got to affect the way you evaluate how much you want to pay for your next quarterback.

“Because they don’t have to look at it like, ‘We have to get Kirk Cousins at all costs because we have to get this position figured out.’ ” Chadiha continued. “They can say, ‘Look, we won with Case Keenum. We’ve won with Teddy Bridgewater. We’ve won with Sam Bradford. So, what did they do well that we can get out of the next guy we put under center?’ ”

With a little less than two weeks remaining until free agency, the Vikings have possibilities to consider before coming down to a decision.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert said that “all options are open” for Spielman.

“I don’t think the Vikings have ruled out internally any possibilities for what they’ll do at quarterback,” Seifert said. “I’m sure they have a list of priorities … but to have ruled anything out or made any black-and-white decisions, I don’t think they’ve done that.”

Seifert went on to emphasize the importance of a backup quarterback for Minnesota, as well. Currently, the Vikings have Kyle Sloter, who was the team’s third-string option last season, on the roster.

And after a season in which Keenum stepped up to help lead Minnesota to a 13-3 regular season and appearance in the NFC Championship game, the Vikings understand the impact a backup can have.

“They absolutely have to sign and/or draft two quarterbacks,” Seifert opined. “Who knows how it will shake out depth-chart wise. It’s weird to go through a season as successful as they are and in some ways be starting over at that position, but that’s where they are, and they need to be aggressive on multiple fronts.”

Whomever the Vikings have under center for the 2018 season, NFL Network’s Stacey Dales said he will be a lucky individual.

Dales said that Minnesota will be an envied destination for quarterbacks in free agency.

“[It’s an opportunity] to come in and jump into an offense that has an incredible stable of running backs – Dalvin Cook’s going to be healthy, Latavius Murray was fantastic in short-yardage situations and gaining big plays for this team,” Dales said. “And that offensive line, plus those receivers and Kyle Rudolph.”

Added Dales: “You’ve got to be drooling if you’re a free agent quarterback like Kirk Cousins to play – ‘Plug me in, and we can go win a Super Bowl right now.’ Because that defense is going to be good next year, too.”