Vikings rumored to be in on 49ers backup QB after losing Kirk Cousins

Quarterback carousels are fun, aren't they?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings are reportedly interested in 49ers backup quarterback Sam Darnold to replace Kirk Cousins.

The San Francisco 49ers know that at least two-thirds of their 2023 quarterback room will be intact in 2024.

Brock Purdy isn't going anywhere anytime soon, given that he's still on his rookie contract. And, on Monday when the "legal tampering" period of NFL free agency kicked off, news broke that the Niners were retaining third-string signal-caller Brandon Allen by inking him to a one-year deal.

That leaves Purdy's immediate backup from last season, Sam Darnold, in a bit of a gray space.

Turns out, though, the former No. 3 overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft apparently has some suitors on the open market after his one-year tenure with San Francisco.

Vikings interested in Sam Darnold after losing Kirk Cousins to Falcons, per report

The opening wave of NFL free agency can be pretty wild, but it was also evident the Minnesota Vikings probably weren't going to retain their longtime starter, Kirk Cousins.

With the two parties poised to finally end their working relationship, Cousins would hit the open market as one of the bigger names available at the position. On Monday, news broke that he'd sign with the Atlanta Falcons on a four-year deal.

Who would the Norsemen peg to fill the void? Darnold?

That's the rumor.

Mere minutes after the Cousins news broke, The Athletic's Dianna Russini reported that Minnesota was honing in on Darnold as a replacement:

Related story: 49ers free agency tracker 2024: Signings, departures and live updates

Darnold, 26 years old, got one start for San Francisco last season in a relatively meaningless Week 18 game, and he finished the full year going 28-of-46 for 296 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in spot cleanup duties for Purdy, including that regular-season finale.

If the report is true, perhaps the Vikings are hoping that a year within head coach Kyle Shanahan's system can help resurrect what has otherwise been a disappointing pro career, first with the New York Jets and then with the Carolina Panthers.

For now, though, it's merely rumor and speculation that Minnesota wants Darnold to be Cousins' replacement.

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