30. Donovan McNabb (2011)
The Vikings needed a veteran to play ahead of first-round pick Christian Ponder in 2011, so they acquired Donovan McNabb via trade with the Redskins. McNabb came to the Vikes out-of-shape and pretty much checked-out mentally, and he was done after six games. The Vikes cut him after he refused to run the scout team and exactly zero teams came beating down his door.
29. Tony Adams (1987)
Trivia question: Who was the Vikings’ starting quarterback during the players’ strike of 1987? Answer: Tony Adams. The 37-year-old Adams had once been a capable backup QB in Kansas City but had been out of the game for nearly a decade when the Vikings called him in. He finished his 3-game stint with 607 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. The Vikings’ record in that stretch? 0-3.
28. Brooks Bollinger (2006-2007)
The mobile Bollinger was drafted by the Jets out of Wisconsin in 2003 and wound up in the Vikings’ QB mix in 2006 along with rookie Tarvaris Jackson and veteran Brad Johnson. Bollinger was given a chance to play after Johnson got pulled by Brad Childress for throwing too many interceptions, but Bollinger himself became injured and Jackson took over. Bollinger made his one start for the Vikes in 2007 against the Packers, a game Minnesota lost 34-0.
27. Bob Berry (1965-1967, 1973-1976)
Berry had two stints with the Vikings, but his best years were the ones he spent with the Falcons in between those two terms with Minnesota. In both go-arounds with Minnesota, Berry mostly backed up Fran Tarkenton. He had only two career starts with the Vikes.
26. Joe Webb (2010-2013)
The sixth-rounder out of UAB became an unlikely folk hero when in his rookie season he led the Vikings to an improbable road victory over the Eagles in a game delayed until Tuesday night after a huge snowstorm swept through Philly. Webb would have become an even greater hero had he managed to lead Minnesota to a playoff win over the Packers in 2012 after stepping in for an injured Christian Ponder but alas it was not to be.
25. Sage Rosenfels (2009, 2011-2012)
Look for Rosenfels’ stats as a Viking and you won’t find any. That’s because Rosenfels never actually played in a regular season game in Minnesota. Rosenfels’ contribution to franchise history came in 2009 when he served as Brett Favre’s clipboard-holder/sounding-board, helping Favre lead the Vikings to the NFC title game. The next year when Minnesota let Sage go, Favre’s performance tailed off dramatically. Coincidence?
24. Ron Vander Kelen (1963-1967)
The one-time Badgers Rose Bowl hero spurned his home-town Packers to sign with the Vikings even though at the time Minnesota was by far the inferior franchise. He played five years for the Vikes primarily as a backup, amassing 1,375 career yards, six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Started three games in 1967.
23. Archie Manning (1983-1984)
Peyton and Eli’s dad was all-but-finished by the time he arrived in Minnesota, his great years with the Saints shrinking in the rearview. He played in five games for the Vikes in the infamous Les Steckel year of 1984, throwing for 545 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Old Vikings fans seem to have a lingering fondness for Manning, probably because of his last name, possibly because they identify with the suffering he endured playing on a terrible team with a terrible coach.
22. Todd Bouman (1997-2002)
For a minute in 2001 it looked like Todd Bouman might seriously challenge Daunte Culpepper as the Vikings’ starting QB. Culpepper went out with injury and in back-to-back games Bouman posted QB ratings of 127.1 and 131.5, throwing four touchdowns in the second game, a victory over Tennessee. Though Bouman was undeniably talented, he never put it together on a consistent basis, and that short stretch of brilliance in 2001 now looks like a mere fluke.
21. Tarvaris Jackson (2006-2010)
Alleged QB-development wizard Brad Childress traded up to draft Jackson in the second round in 2006. Needless to say, T-Jack never developed the way Childress hoped. Jackson bounced back and forth between the field and the bench until 2008 when Chilly sat his butt down for good in favor of Gus Frerotte. A late-season injury to Frerotte thrust T-Jack back into the lineup and he sealed his fate in Minnesota by laying an egg in a home playoff loss. Brett Favre replaced him in 2009.