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. 8

Kirk Cousins

From 2015 through 2017, the Vikings had three different starting quarterbacks. Two, Bridgewater and Bradford, were lost for a season to injury. Despite Keenum’s miracle pass in the playoffs, the Vikings wanted more stability at the position. Former Washington Commanders quarterback Kirk Cousins fit the bill.

In three seasons as the starter in Washington from 2015-2017, Cousins passed for over 4,000 yards each year and never missed a game to injury. He was the NFL’s completion percentage leader in 2015 and was voted to his first Pro Bowl in 2016.

Minnesota missed the playoffs in Cousins' first year but returned in 2019, losing to San Francisco in the divisional round. The Vikings didn’t qualify for the playoffs in 2020 or 2021 then rebounded to win 13 games in 2022.

11 of Minny’s victories were decided within one score that year. That proved to be a negative when the team lost to the New York Giants in the Wild Card round, 31-24.

Last season, Cousins was cruising through the first seven weeks, passing for 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns, and five picks. He then tore his Achilles tendon during a Week 8 game against Green Bay. The injury caused Cousins to miss time as a starter for the first time in his career.

As a Viking, Cousins has passed for 23,265 yards, 171 touchdowns, and 55 interceptions. He has a 50-37-1 record and was voted to three Pro Bowls while in Minny.

In retrospect, the Vikings have had more success as a franchise by signing veteran quarterbacks. Tarkenton had played in New York for five years before being brought back to Minny and getting the franchise to three Super Bowls.

In fact, the only quarterbacks drafted by Minnesota that helped the team get past the divisional round were Wade Wilson in 1987 (loss to Washington in the Conference Championship) and Daunte Culpepper in 2000 (loss to the Giants in the Conference Championship).

Whether or not the Minnesota front office considers their team’s quarterback history for 2024 remains to be seen.