5 free agents the Vikings will regret not signing in 2024

Gardner Minshew II
Gardner Minshew II / Clark Wade/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Free agent No. 1

Gardner Minshew II, quarterback

The entire Minnesota Vikings fan base erupted with joy when it was announced that Sam Darnold would be joining the team for the 2024 NFL season. Okay, so that's a lie, but Darnold isn't a horrible option to hold down the ship until a rookie is ready for action even if they could have looked into going a different direction.

The Vikings could have agreed to terms with an experienced passer who found recent success in that role. Last season, Darnold acted as the backup for young quarterback Brock Purdy but Gardner Minshew II had to step in for rookie Anthony Richardson when he sustained an injury.

Minnesota is expected to go all-in on a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft. For only about a $2.5 million difference in 2024, the Vikings could have had a passer who started 13 games last season and won more than half of them.

The Colts replaced Minshew with Joe Flacco to be the backup for Richardson. But Minshew joined the Las Vegas Raiders and is now considered a possible starter until they can figure out what is happening with the vacant spot after releasing Jimmy Garoppolo.

One wild thing about Sam Darnold is that the league is much higher on him than fans are. He generated interest from several teams in free agency before landing with the Vikings. However, the feeling about Minshew seems fairly solid around the league.

Perhaps the Vikings were only looking for someone for one season or like what Darnold brings to the team more than what Minshew would, but it's hard to be on the outside of the front office and feel optimistic about what will happen if Sam Darnold starts for the team. It would be a little more comfortable with Gardner Minshew II behind center.