Vikings to Sign Former No. 3 Overall Pick Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold Minnesota Vikings San Francisco 49ers
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings lost a quarterback on Monday afternoon, and minutes after the calendar flipped to Tuesday, they had another one. At 12:04 a.m. CDT, Ian Rapoport (NFL Network) broke news that the Vikings have signed 26-year-old quarterback Sam Darnold to a 1-year deal worth $10 million.

This isn’t a surprise given all the reports and rumors that had the Vikings interested in the former No. 3 overall draft pick, since the idea of losing Kirk Cousins started to get at real TCO Performance Center last week. Of course, at $10 million, the expectation isn’t that Darnold will start… so everybody take a deep breath.

Sam Darnold to sign with Minnesota Vikings

The New York Jets drafted Darnold in the 1st round of in the 2018 NFL Draft. He was the second QB taken off the board behind Baker Mayfield, who was taken No. 1 overall. While his first two seasons in the league were a rollercoaster, Sam’s future was still undetermined entering year 3 of his NFL career. He wasn’t great, but not a lot of QBs thrown into difficult situations are.

Related: Vikings Showing Interest in Former Packers RB Aaron Jones

Darnold threw for a total of 5,889 YDS, 36 TD and 28 INT during the two seasons from 2018-2019. But then, in 2020, he completely fell off the quarterback cliff, tossing for just 2,200 yards, 9 TD and 11 INT in 12 starts. After that season, he was traded to the Carolina Panthers, where he spent two more seasons.

He was given one more chance to start for the Panthers in 2021, but he only accomplished 2,500 yards, 9 TD and 13 INT in 11 starts. He got six more starts in 2022 before hitting the free agency curb and signing with the San Francisco 49ers as a backup for the 2023-24 season. Sam started just one game for the 49ers last season and looked pretty good, tossing for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception in a week 18 contest vs the LA Rams.

Enjoy some Sam Darnold highlights:

Related: Vikings Sign Pair of Familiar Linebackers Andrew Van Ginkel and Former Gopher Blake Cashman

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