Vikings already have competition for terrible Kirk Cousins backup plan

Kirk Cousins is gone in Minnesota. The Vikings have turned to an uninspiring backup plan, but might not even be able to get that across the finish line.

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

Kirk Cousins has opted to sign with the Atlanta Falcons, leaving behind the Minnesota Vikings to play for just the third team in his NFL career. Cousins, a divisive quarterback who has had moderate success but fallen short of Super Bowl appearances, now gets to try his hand at a third team and third division.

Cousins will be back in Minneapolis as an opponent in 2024, but the Vikings need to look around and find some sort of solution under center for the years ahead. Some reporters have suggested that the Vikings would be interested in drafting a rookie, but prefer a veteran quarterback as a bridge while the rookie develops.

Reports emerged about where the Vikings sights are set for now, but it's not an inspiring plan. Worse yet, the Vikings have plenty of reported competition.

Vikings plan for Kirk Cousins backfill will have fans cringing

Minnesota! Can I interest you in Sam Darnold? No? Why not.

You might not have a choice. The Vikings are looking that direction:

Dianna Russini of The Athletic reported shortly after Cousins agreed to a deal with Atlanta that the team was looking at Darnold, who failed as a starter with the New York Jets, then the Carolina Panthers and spent last year as a backup to Brock Purdy with the San Francisco 49ers.

Darnold has gotten relatively good reviews for his role as a veteran backup for San Francisco, but has never inspired in the starting role. It would take a massive leap forward for him to step into a starting role.

Luckily, the character traits needed to excel as a respected backup as Darnold has are the ones you need to support a rookie as a bridge quarterback. Darnold needs to be cerebral, cool-headed, and be able to marry the gameplan with the bigger picture, and not let things get stuck in the weeds of minutiae.

That said, the Vikings' vision for the next steps at quarterback could be interesting for Minnesota. If it is true that they need a bridge, they may only need Darnold to start for a season, perhaps even less if they have quick confidence in whoever they choose.

Darnold might be an OK bridge option, but if the Vikings want to win games in 2024, this probably does not get the job done.