5 former Vikings who could return to the team in free agency in 2023

(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) Mike Boone
(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) Mike Boone /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) Taylor Heinicke /

Taylor Heinicke – QB

The Vikings are in the market for a backup quarterback. They will likely just re-sign Nick Mullens, but if he doesn’t want to come back, they could look to a familiar face from the past.

Taylor Heinicke broke into the league as a member of the Vikings practice squad. Just when it looked like he could finally earn the backup job, he put his foot through a door or a window or something like that, and he severed a tendon. He ended up being released by the Vikings and went on to sign with the Texans.

Heinicke finally caught on in Washington and became a starter. He proved to be a gritty competitor who threw for over 5,400 yards and 33 touchdowns in 24 starts.

Heinicke isn’t going to wow anyone with his physical traits, but he’s a gamer who plays with a ton of energy. He isn’t afraid to take shots and showed he can be more than serviceable if needed to step in and lead an offense.

The Vikings could see Heinicke as not only a backup but a potential bridge quarterback if they move on from Cousins after this season and draft a rookie in 2024.