Local Insider: No Doubt Sam Darnold Will Be Vikings Starting QB in Week 1

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings came into the offseason with their biggest question being how they’d handle the quarterback position. With Kirk Cousins gone, Sam Darnold signed and J.J. McCarthy drafted, we have more answers now than we did a couple months ago.

Although the Vikings had interest in re-signing Kirk Cousins, they were never going to the crazy amount of guarantees that the Atlanta Falcons decided upon. In signing Sam Darnold, Kevin O’Connell provided himself with a young veteran that he believes is capable of running his offense.

Walters: No doubt Sam Darnold starts Week 1 for Minnesota Vikings

sam darnold
Photo: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

If true, J.J. McCarthy will have the opportunity to sit and learn without the pressure of being thrust into action before being ready. But we do not know if any of that is true because Darnold has yet to prove he can be a quality starter at the NFL level.

That’s why there have been differing reports and suggestions as to when McCarthy will ultimately take over the reins, but Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press is convinced it won’t be week one, writing in his Sunday column that “there’s no doubt” Sam Darnold will have that job to start the season. He goes on to tag the back half of Minnesota’s schedule as the likely starting point for the JJ McCarthy era to begin.

There’s no doubt that Darnold, with a $10 million, one-year contract, will start the season. But as the schedule becomes less challenging at the midway point, McCarthy could then get his first chance.

Charley Walters – Pioneer Press

That would seem to be the most logical stance for the Vikings to take, and it gives both parties an opportunity to make sure that their Michigan rookie is ready. Darnold’s success will likely dictate a lot of McCarthy’s first season in the NFL.

Sam Darnold has yet to show an ability to produce in line with former expectations, and some of that may be his inability to be more than an offseason all-star. With the supporting cast he has in Minnesota though, this is certainly a now or never opportunity for him.

If Sam is playing well and they are winning games, it appears the Vikings want their rookie to wait. But if they start losing and Darnold ends up being who everyone thought he was (a bust), then inserting McCarthy will start to make more sense, as long as he’s ready for that step.

Related: J.J. McCarthy Isn’t Even the Minnesota Vikings’ Backup Right Now

For the first time in their careers, Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah got the opportunity to swing for a premier quarterback prospect. Resetting the Vikings at the most important position in sports, the long-term future of both men relies on their capabilities to develop McCarthy into a quality NFL signal caller.

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