Travis Kelce Believes Sam Darnold Starts NFL Comeback Story with Vikings

sam darnold
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The Minnesota Vikings have done a lot of shaking and baking in the opening days of 2024 NFL Free Agency, which officially kicked off the new league year Wednesday afternoon. But obviously, the change at quarterback is on the forefront of everyone’s mind.

As of today, the Vikings QB1 is Sam Darnold, a bust 26-year-old former No. 1 pick out of USC who’s now on his fourth NFL team. Signed to high-end back-up, maybe pinch-starter type money, the Vikings plan to have Darnold compete for the week 1 starter job with whoever they take at QB in next month’s draft.

There aren’t a lot of big time Sam Darnold believers left around football. And while general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is trying to sell Darnold as a legitimate starting option, that his trade up for an additional first round pick could be used for anything, much of the fan base would riot if there isn’t a 2024 Plan A ahead of a guy who hasn’t thrown more than ten touchdowns in a season since 2019.

Travis Kelce is a Sam Darnold believer

But Kansas City Chiefs tight end and future Taylor Swift album inspiration, Travis Kelce, isn’t drinking any of that Sam Darnold Haterade. On the most recent episode of the podcast he does with his brother, retired Eagles center Jason Kelce, titled “New Heights“, Kelce rained support on the new Vikings QB, even going as far as to call him next year’s comeback story.

Travis: “News broke that the Vikings are signing former Niners quarterback Sam Darnold, which is a great sign for them. I think Sam has got a lot of good football left in him. [Darnold] had a tough scenario over there in Carolina but I think he’s due for a comeback story, man. Sam Darnold one-year $10 million contract.”

Jason: “Yep and the Vikings run a similar system to San Fran, where Donald was last year. So this is the second year in the same system.”

Travis: “Yeah, I love their offense.”

New Heights Podcast

After being drafted as the 2016 top overall pick by the New York Jets, Darnold has mostly disappointed. Outside of his one season in San Francisco, however, he’s been in some pretty brutal situations. He was brought into a disaster Jets organization, before eventually being traded to Carolina, where things did not get any better.

Related: Former NFL GM Blown Away by Vikings’ Evaluation Skills and Adaptability Early in Free Agency

YearAgeTmGGSQBrecCmp%YdsTDIntY/AAY/AY/GRateQBR
201821NYJ13134-9-057.72,86517156.96.1220.477.645.9
201922NYJ13137-6-061.93,02419136.96.4232.684.345.6
202023NYJ12122-10-059.62,2089116.15.2184.072.732.9
202124CAR12114-7-059.92,5279136.25.2210.671.933.2
202225CAR664-2-058.61,143738.28.2190.592.651.4
202326SFO1010-1-060.9297216.56.329.785.149.3
CareCare665621-35-059.712,06463566.76.0182.878.3
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/17/2024.

Travis Kelce parts with the Sam Darnold conversation with a small, but important piece of advice. Find new tight end target TJ Hockenson early and often. Of course, he won’t be able to find Hock early, since TJ is expected to miss most of training camp and even into the regular season, as he recovers from ACL surgery.

“Sam Darnold shout out to Darnold over there, Sammy getting paid and getting an opportunity. Dude, find [TJ Hockenson] Hawky, Hawk can take you to the promised land, Sam. Find that tight end 87 . Easy to spot, yeah it’s really easy he’s got the hair coming out the dude’s just saucing it up.”

Travis Kelce – New Heights Podcast

Related: Which Teams are Most Likely to Steal the Vikings’ Top QB Target in NFL Draft?

The two Kelce’s also talked about Kirk Cousins, both before and after they talked about Darnold signing in Minnesota. They seem to like Kirk and, much like the rest of the NFL, are impressed by the amount of money he continues to rake in.

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