OFFICIAL Vikings News: Just In Minnesota Vikings Confirm Shocking Departure Of Another Top Experienced Star Player

This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings set out to find their next quarterback of the future. They had to figure out a succession plan whether or not Kirk Cousins came back. J.J. McCarthy helped them achieve that at 10th overall. Though as of right now, he might not even be the second string, he isn’t guaranteed to start.

This offseason, the Vikings added veteran signal caller Sam Darnold before selecting J.J. McCarthy. Although things didn’t work out with the New York Jets or Carolina Panthers, he was also a first-round pick in the past, and there are reasons to think that playing for Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco helped him get back on the right track.

that in Minnesota, Kevin O’Connell can contribute to maintaining that positive trend. Darnold will get the starting quarterback to beat when they report to minicamp in a few weeks, followed by training camp later in the summer.

Is Minnesota Vikings QB3 JJ McCarthy?
The Minnesota Vikings, J.J. McCarthyImage courtesy of USA Today Sports / USA TODAY NETWORK / Junfu Han
Of course, there are routes that could lead to McCarthy starting games in 2024, but a lot of them involve Sam Darnold playing poorly. The Vikings’ 21-year-old first-round pick will probably spend the majority of the season wearing a headset rather than a helmet if their 26-year-old first-round pick performs well.

To be precise, JJ McCarthy needs to overcome QB2 at the moment, Nick Mullins, before he can even consider deposing QB1. Furthermore, Will Ragatz of Sports Illustrated says that’s not exactly a given.

According to Ragatz, it’s highly likely that the Vikings carry three quarterbacks into the season if McCarthy isn’t ready to start by week one, allowing them to demote JJ to QB3.

McCarthy was mostly used as the backup quarterback to Nick Mullens and Sam Darnold, two seasoned players. Darnold and Mullens rotated with the starting lineup while McCarthy and Jaren Hall worked with the younger players and backups when the team split up for the day.

He hesitated a little bit on a few repetitions, but you could still see him going through his progressions and then stumbling or throwing to his checkdown option. It’s evident that he is still working on mastering Kevin O’Connell’s offense’s timing and rhythm. McCarthy also missed a few passes that were inaccurate and once fumbled a shotgun snap.

Will Ragatz summarizing what he saw this week at the Vikings voluntary OTAs regarding JJ McCarthy (SI)
Related: Did the Vikings Hint at Which UDFAs Would Be Included on the Roster?

McCarthy was supposed to be given room to grow at all times. O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah both need their quarterback to perform well, or else they will be searching for other positions in a few years. Providing him with some time to sit and learn is the most direct route to his development.

The fact that Nick Mullens would stay the backup instead of McCarthy is interesting, but it does make sense to make sure he isn’t one play away from stalling his development by moving him under center too soon if they decide he isn’t ready to play.

To ensure he is never too far from the action come regular season, [JJ McCarthy] may start the regular season as the quarterback of the third string if he can’t defeat Darnold, establish his readiness, and win the starting job in Week 1.

Will Ragatz, SI
It would almost certainly be implied that Jaren Hall isn’t a long-term fixture on the Vikings roster if McCarthy was demoted to QB3. McCarthy could never fill in for him if Minnesota were to retain their fifth-round draft pick in 2023. Furthermore, the Vikings won’t have four quarterbacks on their roster.

Although Mullens appeared rough in his limited play during the previous season, there might be a better use for him if he is kept off the field and is only called upon in an emergency.

See Also: Will Justin Jefferson Participate in Any Offseason Practices for the Minnesota Vikings?

Given the current configuration of the roster, McCarthy should be either at the top of the depth chart or deep down. This team will eventually be his, but it might not materialize at the beginning of the season, and that’s okay.

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