Vikings Expected to Target Zach Wilson, Sam Darnold if Kirk Cousins Walks

zach wilson sam darnold
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With Kirk Cousins returning to the Minnesota Vikings in NFL free agency far from a guarantee, the speculation continues to grow that his likely replacement could be a pair of first-round draft busts.

Just a few months ago it seemed like Kirk Cousins being back under center for the Vikings was a foregone conclusion. However, as we draw closer to the start of free agency on March 11, the four-time Pro Bowler being in a different uniform next season is looking possible.

That is why many around the Vikings organization have started to speculate about what the QB room could look like without Cousins. And some of the recent conjecture about the topic is going to seriously disappoint the team’s fans.

Minnesota Vikings like Zach Wilson, Sam Darnold

zach wilson sam darnold
Photo: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

During an appearance on a Thursday edition of the SKOR North’s “Minnesota Sports with Mackey and Judd” podcast, local insider Darren Wolfson spoke about the Vikings’ contingency plans. Both Jacoby Brissett and Baker Mayfield are on the team’s radar heading into free agency, however, Wolfson believes the “steam” behind signing New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, and San Francisco 49ers veteran Sam Darnold is “legit.”

Also Read: Minnesota Vikings Interested in DT Christian Wilkins, Among Other Top Defensive Free Agents

Furthermore, he claimed the organization has also done some “homework” on fellow failed Jets starting QB Zach Wilson. Yet that is not the only league insider who believes the two former New York first-round picks could be players that replace Kirk Cousins in 2024.

On Wednesday, The Athletic NFL reporter Zach Rosenblatt also predicted Wilson and Darnold to the Vikings in NFL free agency.

Also Read: 8 Free Agent QBs for Minnesota Vikings if Kirk Cousins Leaves, Ranked by Likelihood

If the Vikings lose Cousins, their top target will be Mayfield. But if Mayfield doesn’t hit free agency, Minnesota might try to take a flier on a young option with some upside. Darnold has never been in particularly winning situations as a starter but no one has ever questioned his arm talent. After a year in Kyle Shanahan’s system, he might be ready for another shot at starting — though it’s possible Justin Jefferson (desiring a new contract) would not be thrilled with this arrangement.

In 2021, some with the Jets wanted to keep Darnold and draft Wilson and now the Vikings have the chance to play out that dream. Wilson is on his way out in New York but in the right environment, with the right coaching, he still has the talent to, at worst, be a high-end backup. Minnesota is a good fit.

Zach Rosenblatt – The Athletic

Both got the chance to start in New York and failed miserably after being top three picks in the 2018 and 2021 NFL Drafts, respectively.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: