Warren Moon (1994 – 1996)
After declining to agree to a restructured contract with the Houston Oilers, Warren Moon was sent packing to the Vikings in exchange for a 1994 fourth-round draft pick and a third-round draft selection in 1995.
After having three different guys start under center during the previous two seasons, Minnesota was hoping to get some stability at the quarterback position with the addition of Moon. He did end up starting all but one game during his first two years with the Vikings, but it didn’t result in much success for the team.
Prior to joining Minnesota’s roster, Moon was able to help lead the Oilers to seven-straight appearances in the playoffs. In the season before he was traded, the Hall of Fame quarterback led Houston to a 12-4 record and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
When the Vikings traded for Moon, they were hoping for him to continue his ability to consistently lead a team to the postseason. He did end up helping Minnesota get into the playoffs once during his three-year tenure in the Twin Cities, but it resulted in a 35-18 loss to the Chicago Bears inside the Metrodome.
In 1995, Moon had his best season in a Vikings uniform. He ended up throwing for 4,228 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. What did his impressive numbers amount to for Minnesota that year? Just a nice big spot on the couch next to all of the other teams around the NFL who failed to make the playoffs that season.
Moon’s final year with the Vikings came in 1996 and he only able to appear in eight of the team’s games due to a broken collarbone. After Brad Johnson did a nice job filling in as the starter during his absence, Minnesota wanted to make Moon their top backup quarterback in 1997 and reduce his pay from $4.3 million to $500,000. The veteran signal-caller said no thanks to the pay cut and the Vikings ended up just releasing him.
Moon put up some impressive numbers during his time with Minnesota. But his stats meant nothing when the team wasn’t even able to win a single playoff game with him starting under center.