Draft bust continues to be a rumored Vikings target after Kirk Cousins news

Former San Francisco 49ers QB Sam Darnold
Former San Francisco 49ers QB Sam Darnold / Robin Alam/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Following the report of Kirk Cousins agreeing to sign with the Atlanta Falcons on Monday, Sam Darnold was suggested as a possible addition for the Minnesota Vikings.

For the first time since the 2018 offseason, the Minnesota Vikings are in need of a new starting quarterback after it was revealed on Monday that Kirk Cousins has reportedly agreed to a four-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

Currently, Jaren Hall and Nick Mullens are the only quarterbacks under contract for the Vikings through the 2024 season. Many expect Minnesota to attempt to select one of the top passing prospects in this year's NFL Draft, but they could also be in the market for another veteran quarterback.

Shortly after the Cousins news broke on Monday, The Athletic's Dianna Russini posted online to expect the Vikings to pursue free-agent quarterback Sam Darnold, who spent the 2023 season as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

Why would the Minnesota Vikings be interested in signing QB Sam Darnold?

Darnold originally entered the league when the New York Jets used the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to select him.

He then had three underwhelming seasons with the Jets before he was traded to the Carolina Panthers in 2021. Darnold wound up spending two years with the Panthers, and this past season, he was the 49ers' top backup behind Brock Purdy.

During his career in the NFL, he has a record of 21-35 as a starter, a 59.7 completion percentage, a 78.3 passer rating, 63 touchdown passes, and 56 interceptions.

Despite his struggles, Minnesota clearly sees some sort of value in adding him to their roster if the rumor of their interest is true.

Darnold does have a past relationship with new Vikings quarterbacks coach Josh McCown from when the two were teammates in New York, so that likely has something to do with the team having an interest in signing him this offseason.

He's also still only 26-years-old, and it's not like the Jets and Panthers have been known in the recent past for their abilities to develop young quarterbacks. Perhaps Minnesota wants to see if they can unlock the true potential Darnold was given when he was a top passing prospect heading into the 2018 NFL Draft.

Vikings fans worried about the team possibly signing Darnold should take some deep breaths, though, because if they do end up signing him, it likely wouldn't be done with the intention of making him their longtime starting quarterback.

Instead, Minnesota would probably bring him in to help whichever rookie quarterback they end up drafting later this year to adjust to the NFL.