The Vikings saw some notable departures on defense yesterday, but they will see continuity under center in 2023. Minnesota is expected to re-sign backup quarterback Nick Mullens, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter).
Mullens spent last season in Minnesota but arrived in the Twin Cities after initially committing to a Las Vegas stay. The Raiders ended up trading him to the Vikings, where he spent the season as Kirk Cousins‘ backup. The latter’s durability led to Mullens riding the bench throughout, after he had seen some action as a Browns reserve in 2021.
The team’s Mullens acquisition preceded a trade of 2021 third-round pick Kellen Mond, who spent the season in Cleveland. Mullens, 27, completed 21 of 25 passes during his initial Vikings season, which ended Sean Mannion‘s run as Cousins’ backup. Minnesota also released Mannion just before Week 1.
Best known for his work as a Jimmy Garoppolo fill-in with the 49ers, Mullens has 17 starts on his resume. Sixteen of those came with San Francisco, with which he sported a 25-to-22 touchdown pass-to-interception ratio. Kyle Shanahan turned to Mullens, despite the presence of former third-round pick C.J. Beathard, frequently in 2018 and 2020 — as Garoppolo dealt with multiple major injuries — and he completed 64% of his passes during the three-season Bay Area stay.
Mullens profiles as an inexpensive backup. While the Vikings could certainly land a higher-profile QB2 option on a crowded market here, Cousins has not missed a game due to injury during his five-season run in Minneapolis.