According to Pro Football Talk, the Minnesota Vikings have signed Nate Stanley, a 7th round draft pick. As PFT notes, Stanley started for three years at Iowa, suggesting that he has good leadership abilities and above average intelligence. He has great size (6’4, 235) and he is durable, traits that are appealing for a backup quarterback.
For the first time in a long time, the Vikings know who their starting quarterback will be. For better of worse, Kirk Cousins is the man in Minnesota. There is opportunity, though, at backup.
Sean Mannion was underwhelming last season. According to Over the Cap, the Vikings would only leave behind $137,500 in dead money if they cut Mannion. Without a strong financial incentive to keep Mannion, Vikings fans should expect an open competition among the Vikings three backup quarterbacks.
One of the main takeaways from the Vikings offseason has been their consistent effort to retool the roster by bringing in younger, cheaper players who have upside. Stanley certainly fits within this approach.
Moreover, Stanley is the only backup quarterback who was drafted by the Vikings. As a result, Stanley may have the advantage in the competition over Mannion and Jake Browning. Don’t be shocked if Stanley is on the opening day roster as Cousins’s backup.
With all that being said, the competition is in the early stages, so nothing is certain. Fans should expect that the Vikings will keep two quarterbacks on the active roster while signing another to the practice squad. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, so the Vikings (like probably every team in the NFL) will ensure that they have multiple backups available. If one quarterback gets sick, the team has someone ready to step in immediately.