8 greatest veteran QBs in Minnesota Vikings history

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford
Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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Greatest Vikings Veteran QB No. 4

Randall Cunningham

Not long after Moon left for the Pacific Northwest, Vikings head coach Dennis Green didn’t bother looking for a replacement in the 1997 NFL Draft. He instead contacted Randall Cunningham.

The former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback had retired after the 1995 season and was working with his granite company in Las Vegas. Green dangled the idea of playing in Minny alongside Robert Smith, Cris Carter, and Jake Reed, and Cunningham jumped at the opportunity.

In 1997, Cunningham started only three games and passed for 501 yards and six touchdowns. Before the 1998 season, the Vikings selected Marshall University receiver Randy Moss in the first round of the NFL Draft. Cunningham was named the starter early in the season, and Minny took off.

With Moss and Carter setting the tone, the Vikings lost only one game in ‘98. Cunningham passed for 3,704 yards (the second-highest total of his career), 34 touchdowns, and just 10 picks. He was also voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 1990.

After Minnesota set a new NFL record with 556 points scored during the regular season, the team beat Arizona in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The Atlanta Falcons then came to town for the NFC Championship game. Minny was expected to beat Atlanta and advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since the Tarkenton years.

Unfortunately, kicker Gary Anderson missed his first field goal attempt of the season late in the game. Had he made it, the Vikings would have had a 10-point lead. Instead, the Falcons tied the game at the end of regulation and won the contest in overtime, breaking the hearts of all Vikings fans.

In 1999, Cunningham began the year with nine interceptions and was benched for veteran Jeff George. Minny then decided to start Daunte Culpepper in 2000, and Cunningham was given his walking papers.

During his three seasons in Minnesota, Cunningham had 5,680 passing yards, 48 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions. He ended his time as a Viking with a 16-7-0 record.