Vikings top candidate to get released can thank J.J. McCarthy

Minnesota Vikings, Nick Mullens
Minnesota Vikings, Nick Mullens / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

As teams begin their offseason programs and get into the thick of OTAs, now is the time where we start overanalyzing each roster. For the Minnesota Vikings, there are going to be a few key positions fans will be wanting to hear more about than others.

One of them, of course, is at quarterback. Because of J.J. McCarthy's arrival and the signing of veteran Sam Darnold, fans are already eager to watch the competition heat up.

But there's another quarterback still on the roster, and he's anything but safe.

Just a couple of days ago, Bleacher Report's David Kenyon wrote a piece that saw him go over one notable cut candidate from each of the 32 teams around the league. For the Vikings? The pick made a lot of sense. It was Nick Mullens, the veteran quarterback.

Wrote Kenyon:

"If possible, the Vikings would probably like to keep Nick Mullens around for his knowledge. The problem is Minnesota signed Sam Darnold in free agency, drafted J.J. McCarthy and still has Jaren Hall—who realistically might not be safe as a hopeful stash on the practice squad. This is very much a Mullens vs. Hall discussion."

If the Minnesota Vikings keep three quarterbacks, Nick Mullens should not be one of them

Odds are, the Vikings will end up keeping two quarterbacks on the active roster and stashing one on the practice squad, but Mullens won't be one of them at either location. Instead, the Vikings should wind up retaining last year's fifth-round pick, Jaren Hall, as a member of the practice squad.

Minnesota saw what Mullens can do. The guy slings it, sure. But, as a third-string quarterback? The team is better off keeping a guy like Hall, whom they invested draft capital into just a year ago.

Mullens saw action in five games last year, including three starts (all of which he lost). He threw for over 1,300 yards, seven touchdowns, and eight interceptions. The odds that Mullens plays at all if the Vikings keep him, are slim to none. It'll be one of either Darnold or McCarthy, if not both, who see the field in 2024.

The Vikings will be wise to let go of Mullens, keeping the younger Hall as a developmental player. In two seasons as BYU's starter, Hall tossed 51 touchdowns and just 11 picks to go with throwing for over 5,700 yards.

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