7 free agency bargains the Vikings should consider in 2024

Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss
Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Bargain Free Agent No. 7

Sam Darnold - QB

2023 Team: San Francisco 49ers

Let's talk a bit about the future of the Vikings' quarterback position. There have been rumors that Kirk Cousins may be willing to take a hometown discount to remain with the team, but conflicting reports also suggest he could seeking a salary of at least $45 million per year.

If that's the case, it might be best for both sides to part ways.

Should that happen, Minnesota will likely make a significant offer to one of the teams with a top-three pick in the 2024 draft to move up and select a quarterback.

However, that doesn't always guarantee success. Having an experienced veteran like Cousins on the roster is always a smart move. When he suffered a torn Achilles in 2023, it became clear just how much he meant to the team.

Minnesota was in the middle of a hot streak, but things fell apart without him. Backup quarterbacks Josh Dobbs, Nick Mullins, and Jaren Hall were all unable to fill Cousins's shoes, and the team missed the playoffs.

It's hard to imagine the Vikings not making the playoffs with Cousins playing the way he was in 2023 before his injury, but the 2024 season may be challenging without him.

If Minnesota is considering a bridge quarterback, Sam Darnold, a former top-five pick, might be an interesting option.

Although he may not be a starter over Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels, his experience in multiple systems and ability to read defenses could be valuable assets to any rookie quarterback he shares a room with.

Even if the Vikings draft a quarterback this year, having Darnold on the sidelines as a capable backup can give the coaching staff some peace of mind.

Additionally, since Darnold only started one game last season when the Niners had already secured their spot in the playoffs, he shouldn't cost much to sign.

If Minnesota decides to move on from Cousins and bring in a rookie quarterback, signing Darnold would be a very cost-effective option.