The Minnesota Vikings' worst fears became true on Monday when they found out that quarterback Kirk Cousins is out for the remainder of the season after tearing his Achilles tendon during the team's 24-10 win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday. This was an unfortunate situation, as the Vikings moved to 4-4 on the season and sit in a playoff spot after Week 8. With the trade deadline looming, fans and media members were pondering what Minnesota would do to address the void left by Cousins.
Would they stand pat and go with rookie Jaren Hall for the remainder of the season? Insiders thought so. Or would they make some calls around the league and find a quarterback?
On Tuesday, a matter of hours before the 4:00 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Vikings had acquired Joshua Dobbs from the Arizona Cardinals in a pick swap.
Now, let's grade the trade for both teams.
NFL trade grades: Vikings find a Kirk Cousins replacement for rest of season with Joshua Dobbs deal with Cardinals
The Vikings needed to find some sort of insurance at the quarterback position now that Cousins is out for the rest of the year. Hall was the only healthy quarterback left on Minnesota's depth chart, as Nick Mullens is on the injured reserve due to a back injury. Making a move for Dobbs, who lost the Arizona's QB1 job, made too much sense for them to make.
Dobbs was acquired by the Cardinals from the Cleveland Browns a week before the start of the regular season. Even in a shortened competition with rookie Clayton Tune, Dobbs picked up the offense and won the job. Even though the team is 1-7 on the season, the team has played hard and competitively, with Dobbs playing solidly and reliably.
In eight starts, Dobbs threw for 1,569 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions while completing 62.8 percent of his passes. Additionally, Dobbs ran for 258 yards and three touchdowns on 47 carries.
Bringing in a competent quarterback is a solid move for the Vikings. But for Week 9 against the Atlanta Falcons, it sounds as though Hall will get the start and see how he does. Even so, having quality depth is a win for the Vikings.
The Arizona Cardinals acquired Dobbs ahead of their season-opener in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick. Eight weeks later, the team flipped Dobbs again, but this time for just a sixth-round pick. So, they don't get similar value back from the Vikings as they gave up to the Browns.
Either way, the writing was on the wall for Dobbs in Arizona. After the Cardinals lost 31-24 to the Baltimore Ravens late Sunday afternoon, head coach Jonathan Gannon said that Dobbs would remain the starting quarterback. But on Monday, Gannon told reporters that Dobbs has been benched in favor of either the returning Kyler Murray or rookie Clayton Tune. As for why Gannon changed his mind, the head coach cited the game film and discussions with the coaching staff.
With the trade deadline being on Tuesday, it seemed as though there was an offer waiting for them for Dobbs. Sure enough, they got one from the Vikings.
Murray is set to return, either this weekend for their game against the Browns or in Week 10 vs. the Atlanta Falcons. Tune will likely earn his first career start in the NFL this Sunday. There were obviously no plans for Dobbs with Murray returning, the team decided to trade him for some sort of return. Again, it was less value than what they gave up for him in the first place, but it's something at least.